Johnson, Bjorkman, Cox win assembly seats

Oct 1, 2019

  With all precincts reporting shortly before 10 pm, municipal election results have mostly taken shape.

Winners in assembly races for the central peninsula were Brent Johnson in District 7. In Nikiski, Jesse Bjorkman won handily with 57 percent of the vote over two other candidates, John Quick and Joe Ross. The District 4 race between Tyson Cox and Rose Henry was not very close, Cox winning nearly 60 percent of the vote there. It’s worth noting that Cox, Bjorkman and Johnson were all targeted with negative ads by a conservative political action committee. The candidates supported by that group, Alaska Yes, were all defeated and Alaska Yes faces complaints from the state public offices commission that  it violated state election law in coordinating with the campaign of John Quick.

The school board will see a new face, with incumbent Dan Castimore losing in a three way race to Patricia Truesdell. Truesdell took 40 percent of the vote, Susan Lockwood took 35 percent and Castimore came in third with almost 24 percent of the vote.

The two borough-wide ballot propositions were defeated easily. Prop 1, asking voters to approve switching to a borough manager form of government fell with nearly 60 percent of voters saying no to a reduced role for the mayor. However, that’s closer than the last time this was tried in 2010, when it didn’t even make the ballot. Prop 2 dealt with borough sales tax and asked voters to increase the sales tax cap from $500 to $1,000. Voters also said no to that, and the nearly $3.5 million it was expected to bring in by almost the same count as the other ballot prop; 57 percent saying no to this year’s tax question.

In the city of Kenai, there were no contested races, and council members Jim Glendenning and Glenese Petty skated to victory, as did Mayor Brian Gabriel. Voters split the two ballot propositions in Kenai, adopting prop B, which will move up the date newly elected council members can take office by about a week. Prop A would have eliminated the condition that potential candidates submit a nominating petition with the signatures of 20 or more registered city voters. That measure fell by a count of 60 to 40.

In Soldotna, the city council race was between former mayor Dave Carey and Pamela Parker. Carey won seat D by just 60 votes, with a total of 300. Lisa Parker was uncontested in her bid for reelection to seat E.

Overall, turnout was just below 14 percent. About 7,000 votes were cast Tuesday.