ALSO, THE 5 PERCENT TAX ON ALCOHOL RE-VOTE
The Jan. 31 filing deadline for the April municipal election in Anchorage has come and gone and the ballot is set. The last day to withdraw is Feb. 4. Ballots will be in the mail to voters on March 17 and the mail-in election ends on April 7.
In addition to candidates, the Anchorage Assembly is asking voters to once again approve an alcohol tax. Voters turned it down just a year ago, but the Assembly liberal majority wants to try again.
This time, the question on the ballot has a lower threshold: Only 50 percent plus one vote is needed to pass the 5 percent tax that is estimated to raise up to $15 million per year for social services such as substance abuse, child abuse, homeless services and other public safety issues.
Only Assembly members John Weddleton and Crystal Kennedy opposed sending the tax question to the ballot.
Alaska already has alcohol tax, including the highest wine tax in the nation, at $2.50 a gallon. Beer is $1.07 a gallon and hard liquor is $12.80 a gallon. Other communities have alcohol taxes, such as the 3 percent booze tax in Juneau, which is added onto the overall 5 percent sales tax to make alcohol taxed at 8 percent.
Here are the candidates who will appear on the ballot:
District 1 – Seat B – Downtown Anchorage: Incumbent Christopher Constant is unchallenged. A registered Democrat, he was elected in 2017.
District 2 – Seat C – Eagle River/Chugiak: Jamie Allard, Stephany Jeffers, and Roger Branson have filed. Incumbent Fred Dyson did not file. Allard, a Republican, ran for House District 14, losing the primary to Kelly Merrick in 2018. She is an Army veteran and worked in the Dunleavy Administration’s first year. Jeffers unsuccessfully ran for House District 12 as a Democrat in 2018. She is registered as an undeclared. Branson, a Republican, is new to campaigning, and has a website that explores his struggles and victories with mental illness.
District 3 – Seat E – West Anchorage: Incumbent Austin Quinn-Davidson, MoHagani Magnetek, and Nick Danger have filed. Quinn-Davidson is registered as nonpartisan but is part of the liberal majority on the Assembly. Magnetek is a flamboyant activist who is running on a transgender activism platform. Danger is Republican who chairs the Alaska Safety Advisory Council; he ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly seat in 2018, getting less than 2 percent of the vote in a crowded field.
District 4 – Seat G – Midtown Anchorage: Incumbent Felix Rivera, Christine Hill and Enrico Tutaan have filed. Rivera is Democrat and part of the liberal majority on the Assembly. Hill is Republican activist in her second run for Assembly. Tutaan is undeclared, and works as a success coach at Anchorage School District.
District 5 – Seat I – East Anchorage: Incumbent Pete Peterson, David Walker and Monty Dyson have filed. Peterson is Democrat who served in the Legislature and is a liberal vote on the Assembly. Walker and Dyson are Republicans. Dyson is an assistant pastor at Anchorage Baptist Temple.
District 6 – Seat K – South Anchorage: Incumbent Suzanne LaFrance and Rick Castillo have filed. LaFrance is nonpartisan and a liberal member of the Assembly. “Rick for the Six” Castillo is Republican and a veteran who works in telecommunications.
School Board Seat C: Incumbent Dave Donley and James Smallwood have filed. Donley is Republican who also has served in the Alaska House and Senate. Smallwood is Democrat who has run for office before but not successfully.
School Board Seat D: Incumbent Andy Holleman, Phil Isley, and Dr. John C. Cates have filed. Holleman, Isley and Cates are undeclared.