Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Three seats on the Soldotna City Council are up for grabs this October.

KDLL has been interviewing the candidates for that race and other municipal races on Kenai Conversation. You can play the interviews in full and learn where the candidates stand on city issues — including riverfront development, COVID-19 mitigation policies and 911 dispatch services — online any time.

Municipal elections in the Kenai Peninsula Borough are fast approaching.

This week and next week, we’re talking to the candidates for the three open seats on the Soldotna City Council.

Jordan Chilson is currently on the council and is running for Seat C. Micah Shields is also running for the seat. He was unable to join us in the studio today.

City of Kenai YouTube

The Kenai and Soldotna city councils both filled council vacancies last night, appointing Victoria Askin in Kenai and Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings in Soldotna.

Askin, a 35-year resident of Kenai, is a technician at Hilcorp. Before that, she worked for Marathon and Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response, Inc." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidate Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings raised more for her campaign than Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce this election, according to most-recent campaign donation reports from the Alaska Public Offices Commission. As of today, Farnsworth-Hutchings has a total reported income of nearly $34,000, with Pierce around $26,000.

Farnsworth-Hutchings also out-spent Pierce, with expenditures coming in at around $21,000. Pierce has reported spending closer to $20,000.

Voters on Oct. 6 have a rematch to settle for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor — incumbent Charlie Pierce or challenger Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The last time Charlie Pierce and Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings campaigned for the position of Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, in 2017, voters were buzzing about the borough’s stance on cannabis legislation and the Pebble Partnership.

The center of attention this round, unsurprisingly, has been COVID-19. At today’s 2020 mayoral candidate forum, moderator Merrill Sikorski asked the candidates about their strategies for handling coronavirus and what they thought about funding for schools and deferred maintenance projects.

The forum was part of a luncheon held by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce at the visitors’ center. Around 50 people attended.

Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce was an early proponent of opening Kenai back up following state-mandated coronavirus closures, and he spoke proudly of his position at the forum.

“I was the individual that took the lead in Marchm” Pierce said. “Following the very next day, after the governor reduced some of his mandates, I was out on the streets the very next day saying that I believe we’re all essential. I believe we’re open for business and I believe that’s the best way to save our businesses is to continue to keep government out and off of the backs of individuals in the way of taxation and the growth of government.”

Generally, Pierce said he thinks he’s done a pretty good job over the last three years. But when asked about what she would have done differently, Farnsworth-Hutchings said she would have handled borough issues “in a completely different way” than her opponent.

“I work very well one on one with everybody,” she said. “I believe in having management meetings once a week so that you can deal with all of your department heads, [seeing] what’s going on in their departments, and making sure that your employees feel like they are appreciated and are doing the most that they can do.”

Residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough are waiting for the mailman to help sort out whether Charlie Pierce or Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings will be the new borough mayor.

Any qualified absentee ballots postmarked by last Tuesday (Oct. 24) that arrive at the borough building in the mail today or tomorrow are eligible to be added to the final tally of votes in the runoff election for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor.

Candidates await absentee and questioned ballot count

Oct 25, 2017

The Oct. 3 regular municipal election didn't settle the race for who will be the next Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, and it appears Tuesday’s runoff will come down to absentee votes before a winner is known. With all 28 precincts reporting, Charlie Pierce held a 226 vote lead over Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings.

Pierce received 3,509 votes to Farnsworth-Hutchings' 3,283.

The two Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidates who will face off in an Oct. 24th runoff were on KDLL's Kenai Conversation this week, answering a wide range of questions. One was about their attitudes toward the Pebble Mine, proposed for the Lake Iliamna area just across Cook Inlet, and if they thought it might offer economic opportunities for the Kenai Peninsula, potentially as a staging area.

Candidate Charlie Pierce said he had once toured the area.

With just 885 votes separating Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidates Charlie Pierce and Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, the pair face each other in a runoff election on October 24th. Pierce and Farnsworth-Hutchings appeared together on this week's (Oct. 11) KDLL Kenai Conversation.

 

The top two vote-getters in last week's Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral election, Charlie Pierce with 5,489 votes and Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings with 4,604, will be facing off in a special runoff election Oct. 24. They joined Kenai Conversation host Jay Barrett to debate the campaign issues.

The two remaining candidates in the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral election, Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings and Charlie Pierce, managed to raise just about the same amount of money in their campaigns in the run up to last week's municipal election.

Out-going Mayor reflects on run-off elections

Oct 5, 2017
Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral race will be going to a runoff later this month, with none of the three candidates scoring 50-percent or more of the vote.