Home Politics Community Politics 2013 Municipal Election Results are (mostly) in.

2013 Municipal Election Results are (mostly) in.

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The bulk of the 2013 Anchorage Municipal election results are now in.
I’m going to avoid the “spin room” tendency to make a grandiose remark about how Tuesday night was Anchorage’s unilateral rebuke of this or that – largely because Anchorage, as a whole, didn’t hold much sway in the elections.
With over 98 percent of precincts reporting, only 17.45 percent of Anchorage voters bothered to show up. That’s down from 35.82 percent for last year’s problem-ridden mayoral election, and down from the 22.90 percent from the year before.
We have a “showing up” problem, and it’s getting worse. That will likely serve as the most under-reported attribute of Tuesday’s election. But it means so much. And should be our top priority moving forwards.
Of the 36,000-plus who opted-in to our democratic process, there was a definitive registered objection to the course the Assembly has recently taken.
West Anchorage.
West Anchorage is not a conservative area. Between west and downtown, you have the most liberal of electorates in South Central Alaska. After Lindsey Holmes’s defection to the GOP after her reelection as a Democrat, and Assembly Chair Ernie Hall’s decision to sponsor a bill hamstringing collective bargaining rights in Anchorage a day after the candidate filing deadline, the district was due for a fairly notable rebellion.
That front began last night.
Tim Steele, a self-described moderate and Vietnam veteran who served on the Anchorage School Board for nine years, handily defeated Cheryl Frasca – the former director of Office and Budget Management under Sullivan, who was appointed and endorsed by the mayor after Harriet Drummond was elected to the state house.
With 92 percent of the district in, Frasca was defeated by a wide twenty-point margin.
Ernie Hall faced a much different situation going into the night; a scenario favoring him. The Assembly Chair introduced the controversial anti-labor ordinance a day after the candidate filing deadline, thus avoiding opposition on the ballot. Nick Moe, the Sustainable Communities coordinator at the Alaska Center for the Environment, rose to the challenge of mounting a write-in campaign.
Having your name on the ballot affords candidates many luxuries. Moe enjoyed none of them, and was only afforded a few weeks of campaigning.
As it stands, Hall is up by less than a point. 3,638 to 3,535.
The incumbent is likely to prevail. Moe would need a substantial lead to overcome to the side effects of the write-in vote column: the Tony Romo vote, the Mickey Mouse vote, and the “Down with the system, man!” vote. But the assembly chair should take note. If Moe were an official candidate, this would likely be a lot more in his favor.
Midtown.
In midtown, Dick Traini seems to have easily shut-down challenger Andy Clary by a wide margin of 4,447 votes to 2,857.
The twenty point split is emphasized given the fact that this is a repeat of the 2010 race, also between Traini and Clary. Three years ago, Traini barely edged out his challenger by a spread of less than 200 votes.
Eagle River.
Oh, Eagle River.
Despite testifying her desire that Eagle River secede from the municipality, and broadcasting how little she knows about virtually anything other than words like “freedom” and “independence,” Amy Demboski seems to have Debbie Ossiander’s seat secured. She beat out Pete Mulcahy, retired military who now works as a business development manager in the private sector.
Demboski attained Mayor Sullivan’s endorsement; Mulcahy received Ossiander’s. Eagle River doesn’t seem to pay much attention to its candidates.
Unchallenged.
Jennifer Johnston skated to victory unchallenged in her final term as an assembly member, pulling in over 80 percent of the vote.
Paul Honeman, likewise, cleared the eighty percent threshold, despite election tampering from KFQD talk show host Casey Reynolds, who encouraged east-side voters to write in “Nick Moe.”
KFQD is building quite the resume with election tampering. In 2010, they suspended Dan Fagan for encouraging Alaskans to register as write in candidates in the US Senate race between Scott McAdams, Joe Miller, and Lisa Murkowski.
I’m not sure why Reynolds, the morning show host who previously was the state GOP spokesperson, still has a job.
He shouldn’t. Tighten up, KFQD.
School Board.
Seat A’s incumbent, Don Smith, was ousted by former legislator Bettye Davis.
Seat B went overwhelmingly to another former legislator, Eric Croft, who won by a close to 60 percent majority in a field of three candidates.
Bond Propositions.
They all passed. Education capital improvements, public safety and transportation, storm and drainage, no problem. We actually do seem to care about infrastructure. At least 17.45 percent of us.
Proposition 6 also passed, clearing up Charter language about assembly term limits.
Where Are We Now?
At this time last year, the mayor enjoyed the popular support of a 6-5 coalition among the assembly. When Harriet left, it became a 7-4 coalition.
After tonight, assuming Hall retains his seat, it’s back to 6-5. Opposition to the mayor is still the minority.
The bigger story should be next year, when 5 of the 11 member body are up for grabs: Patrick Flynn, Bill Starr, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Adam Trombley, and Chris Birch.
This election may have represented a defensive measure for those concerned about the mayor’s agenda. Next year, however, decides whether that movement stays on the defense, or moves to an offensive position.
I may have a lot more to say about that in the coming months.
Was today a full rebuke of the mayor? That can be argued. But it is a reaction to the actions of the mayor and the assembly over the past few years. It should be noticed and not dismissed.
Oh, and I was serious about Casey Reynolds. He should be looking for a new job.