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Voter turnout hits 18% and incumbents cement leads in borough races

Assembly 101122
Sabine Poux
Incumbents Tyson Cox, Brent Johnson and Jesse Bjorkman were sworn in at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting Tuesday.

Canvass officials with the Kenai Peninsula Borough have tallied the remaining votes from the Oct. 4 elections. And with the newly counted absentee and by-mail ballots, incumbents have cemented their leads in their respective races.

Jesse Bjorkman kept his lead, and his seat, on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for District 3-Nikiski, with 59% of the vote over challengers Dil Uhlin and Chase Griffith. Bjorkman is also running in the Senate District D race next month.

Incumbent Tyson Cox won his assembly race, to keep representing District 4-Soldotna. With all ballots counted, Cox maintained 63.7% of the vote over challenger Don Boston.

A third assembly race, for District 7-central, was uncontested. Brent Johnson ran unopposed for that race.

For the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education, Virginia Morgan will keep her seat representing the eastern peninsula for District 6. Morgan had 70.8% of the vote over challenger Ryan Culbertson. And Patti Truesdell still leads the District 1-Kalifornsky race with 69.1% over challenger Virgil Gattenby. Zen Kelly ran unopposed to keep his seat representing District 9-Homer.

As for ballot propositions, both borough bonds still come out on top, with 58.8% of voters greenlighting a bond to finance several deferred maintenance projects in borough schools. Nearly 67% voted “yes” on a bond to finance a new Central Emergency Services station in Soldotna. And 77.9% of voters chose the nine-district plan for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and school board.

With all votes in, voter turnout has increased to 18.2% borough-wide, according to the laydown from the borough clerk. The borough counted 9,653 total ballots, including 1,958 absentee, questioned and special needs ballots.

The borough assembly certified the election results at its meeting Tuesday night.

Unofficial results for city races in Kenai and Soldotna, meanwhile, had not been updated to include absentee ballots as of Tuesday.

The City of Kenai is slated to certify its election results next week. Soldotna will certify its results at its regular meeting Wednesday.

Sabine Poux is a producer and reporter for the Brave Little State podcast of Vermont Public. She was formerly news director and evening news host at KDLL in Kenai.

Originally from New York, Sabine has lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont and Kenai.
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