Conservatives performed well during the Nov. 7 Mat-Su elections for borough assembly and school board.

Two high-profile school board races pitted conservative incumbents Ole Larson and Kathy McCollum against liberal candidates Dianne Shibe and Sydney Zuyus. While Shibe and Zuyus had the backing of leading Democrats and progressives, as well as the teachers’ union, Larson and McCollum easily retained their seats and solidified the conservative makeup of the school board.

On the Assembly side, conservative incumbents Clayton “Mokie” Tew lost to challenger Bill Gamble, while fellow incumbent Dmitri Fonov retained his seat. Incumbent Rob Yundt ran unopposed.

Mat-Su residents also overwhelmingly approved a $38 million transportation improvement bond.

Thanks to an ordinance passed earlier this year which outlawed voting machine tabulators, the election was conducted with paper ballots – all of which were hand counted on election night.

Voter turnout was 9.5%.

There were 1,589 Absentee Ballots and 362 Questioned Ballots issued. The Canvass Board is now working to verify results and review ballot accountability reports. Canvassing the outstanding absentee and questioned ballots will come next. Election certification will occur during a special assembly meeting on Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.

Below are the most current unofficial results.


— Rob Yundt (unopposed): 632


— Bill Gamble: 751

— Clayton “Mokie” Tew: 529


— Dmitri Fonov: 1,021

— Stafford Glashan: 426

— Kerby Coman: 227

— Jackson Abney: 179


— Kathy McCollum: 995

— Sydney Zuyus: 484


— Ole Larson: 1,125

— Dianne Shibe: 826


— Yes: 5,916

— No: 2,855

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UPDATE: Mat-Su reelects conservatives to school board, assembly

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • LJ says:

    Voter turnout was pathetic……….shame on you Mat-Su .

    • C H says:


    • MMD says:

      I agree. I just don’t understand this level of apathy. We went out and voted even though there was only Prop 1 on the ballot in our District. Our two votes probably won’t make or break any race, but it was more a show of support for the ability to vote (and to vote machine-less!).

  • Steve says:

    Not a comment – a question. Have you done an assessment on the outstanding early ballots and what the ratios might need to be for the anti-God crowd to flip these numbers? That would be a nice assessment to have in the story.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Thank GOD at least a few conservatives held on. I hate to think only 7.76% on Mat-Su residents really care about what’s going on. This is why Trump lost the election and we ended up eith Groper Joe. Conservatives, you better read and heed. Next November it’s president election time and no mater what your lame excuse is you better get out and vote. We sure don’t need another Liberal in office for 4 more years. Groper Joe screwed America up bad enough. There won’t be an America if democrats regain next November. Think about it!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      You gotta be joking about President Trump losing the election. Just amazing that, even three years later, some still say this.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I am shocked about the voter turnout! The paper ballots and hand counting were fantastic. It is too bad that so many have become disenfranchised over the years because of the crooked machines and RCV. Time to start working on getting everyone out to vote in 2024!
    Congratulations to Ole Larson, Kathy McCollum, and Dimitri Fonov! Thanks to all of the volunteers that put sweat equity into these campaigns!

  • C H says:

    Do folks realize how these bonds paid?

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Increase in taxes! Like many of us can afford an increase in taxes!

    • John B. Whisamore says:

      9.5% 0f 93,000 reg. Voters (8,500 ish) voted to indebt the rest of the nonvoting public to the tune of 38,000,000 dollars.
      Oops… 9.5% was the turnout. Only 5,916 “sold you down the river”. 2,855 were fighting the ignorance and apathy by turning out and voting no.
      Only 5,916

      • DaveMaxwell says:

        Ok if the hit jobs railing against the matsu voter’s is over, try reasoning out what possibly is motivating the low turn out. Here’s a question to get your mind prepared to think: a man is married to a woman, the man has repeatedly been unfaithful to his wife. The counseling , and miner changes have occurred; but still the man struggles. Question: should the woman take him back? Especially knowing the violation will continue? After all the woman is the one who is expected to bear all the pain, while the man reaps all the benefits! Ie: no accountability!
        To blame the voter is likened to blaming the woman! The institutions of our government that are never held accountable is the unfaithful man! The evidence of the people resisting to engage in the institutional corruption of our government is a sign that we are entertaining the idea of all out anarchy! TRUST HAS BEEN BROKEN!!!

  • Punahele says:

    Well, thank God. At least some good news on election day, the election results in Ohio and Virginia were very depressing…..and I will add, those who are too apathetic to vote, perhaps shouldn’t vote. We assume the apathetic are the conservatives….but if the progressives were less apathetic (there’s gotta be some progressives in that 90% who didn’t vote) and turned out in droves, the results of this election could have been very different!

  • Richard Eide says:

    You deserve the government you don’t vote for…

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Richard, you would be the attitude type that I would be interested in hearing your response to my above observations! Do we the people really deserve the results of the corruption and wickedness that our government has perpetrated on us?
      It will be interesting to hear your thoughts.

  • John B. Whisamore says:

    I find it hard to accept your analogy of a marriage to civic responsibility. The first being an intimate bond and the other a Civic Duty.
    Our form of government was made for ” a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams
    This quote is taken from a letter to the Massachusetts Militia 1798.
    Revolution and anarchy are consequences of “the people resisting to engage in the institutional corruption”. Consequences are not solutions, they are results. Results of ingnorance and/ or neglect. One solution I would insist upon is EDUCATION!.
    In the age of information may I suggest

  • John B. Whisamore says:

    My apologies. i neglected to address my last comment to Dave Maxwell. I need practice. Thanks for your patience.