The Anchorage Assembly interviewed and voted to name Eagle River resident Robin Dern as the temporary replacement for former Assemblywoman Jamie Allard, who is now a sitting legislator. Dern was among 10 people who applied for the seat, which will be filled by the voters on April 4 through a regular municipal election.
On the first round of voting, Dern received 5 votes and Matt Cruickshank received 2 votes. On the second round, Dern got 7 votes and Cruickshank received 4 votes. The Assembly uses ranked choice voting in its procedure to replace a vacancy.
Dern, an artist, writer, and poet, said that in addition to her other qualities, she is the only woman to have applied for the seat. Her background includes: Executive director in local nonprofits for 20 years, United Jewish Communities Alaska Board member, FEMA State Set Aside board chairwoman, Anchorage Schools Foundation co-chairwoman, Special Olympics World Winter Games volunteer coordinator, Arctic Winter Games volunteer, Anti-Defamation League Pacific Northwest Regional Board member, Anti-Defamation League trained facilitator in “No Place for Hate, Hate Crimes, Inclusive Policing & Response to Violent Extremism,” Eagle River Food Pantry volunteer, Anchorage School District volunteer and parent, FBI and Anchorage Police Department Citizen Academy participant.
Dern took her position on the dais and, through her face mask said she was grateful for the opportunity to serve Eagle River. Her first meeting, which was underway this afternoon, proceeded into executive session to consider legal action against the mayor of Anchorage or members of the mayor’s administration.