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Municipal Elections underway across the Kenai Peninsula

A sign to vote on the window of Homer City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.
Jamie Diep
A sign to vote on the window of Homer City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.

Polls opened today at 7 a.m. for municipal elections across the Kenai Peninsula.

In Homer, election worker Pam Brodie saw more people than she expected come out to vote.

“It's been going well in that it's been very steady and very busy, so we have had no time to read magazines or anything,” she said. “we're just dealing with the public all the time, but the lines are not too long.”

Besides Peter Micciche running for borough mayor, all races are contested in Homer. There are two open seats for city council, and an open borough assembly seat in Homer. Incumbents Rachel Lord and Caroline Venuti are running for reelection, while Joni Wise and Daniel Hasche are first time candidates.

Current assembly member Lane Chesley did not run for reelection, so former Assembly Member Kelly Cooper and former Homer City Council member Heath Smith are running to fill the open seat.

In Seward, residents are voting to elect a member of the city council. Incumbent Robert Barnwell is running against Julie Crites and Brad Snowden. Residents are also voting once more to decide if the city will sell its electric utility to Homer Electric Association, which failed back by seven votes in May. In addition to the sale itself, the ballot also contains a resolution to change the threshold from 60% to a simple majority vote.

There are three other open seats for the borough assembly. In Kenai, Alaska Marijuana Industry Association President Ryan Tunseth is running unopposed. Incumbent Bill Elam is running against accountant Nissa Savage for the Sterling/Funny River seat. Peter Ribbens, the current member for Nikiski, is running against Adam Bertoldo, a paramedic.

There are also four open seats on the Kenai Peninsula School District Board of Education. Debbie Cary is the current member in the Central District and is running against Dianne MacCrae. In Nikiski, incumbent Jason Tauriainen and Lyndsey are vying for the open seat. Appointed member Beverly Ramanin is running against Kelley Cizek for the Sterling seat, and Penny Vadla is running unopposed in Soldotna.

Kenai city council also has contested races, but one city council seat and the mayor are uncontested in Soldotna, with only one seat of city council that has a contested race this year.

Polls close at 8 p.m. tonight. Check KBBI for updated election results all evening.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.