(3-minute read) WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW
The filing period for the April 2, 2019 Municipal election began Friday and ends Feb. 1, 2019 at 5 pm.
This will be the first full mail-in-only election that Anchorage will have held since it began using the method in 2017.
In 2017, the election was for Mayor, School Board seats and a hotly contested ballot initiative. In August, 2018, there was a minor mail-in-only election for Assembly Seat D, which was vacated by Tim Steele and was limited to West Anchorage.
This time, however, half of the Assembly is up for election, as well as a third of the School Board.
Although the Municipal Clerk’s Office is closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21, candidates may send in their declaration of candidacy.
Those seeking information about how to file may have to search long and hard on the municipality’s web site, as the Election Division and Clerk’s Office pages are now difficult to find, after a recent web site remodel. We’ve posted relevant links below:
For Assembly, the seats up for election are:
- District 2- Seat A – Eagle River/Chugiak. This seat is now held by Gretchen Wehmoff, who was appointed by the Assembly to fill out the term of Amy Demboski, when Demboski joined the Dunleavy Administration.
- District 3- Seat D – West Anchorage, an area represented by Eric Croft and Austin Quinn-Davidson. Although he filed, Croft is bowing out because he has moved to another district. It’s his seat that is up for election. He is pushing the candidacy of like-minded Kameron Perez-Verdia.
- District 4- Seat F – Midtown Anchorage, an area represented by Dick Traini and Felix Rivera. Traini is term-limited and cannot run again, for the second time in his career, and it’s his seat that is up for election.
- District 5-Seat H – East Anchorage, an area represented by Forrest Dunbar and Pete Petersen. It’s Dunbar’s seat that is up for election. He is the chair of the Assembly.
- District 6- Seat J – South Anchorage, an area represented by John Weddleton and Suzanne LaFrance. It’s Weddleton’s seat that is up for election.
- The assembly candidate packet is here.
Eight candidates have already filed for Assembly:
District 2- Seat A: (This article has been corrected. No one has filed for this seat at of Jan. 23)
District 3- Seat D: Kameron Perez-Verdia, a Democrat.
District 4- Seat F: Christine Hill, a Republican, with Al Fogle as campaign chair and Julie Tisdale as treasurer. Megan Allison-Zalatel, a no-party candidate, has also filed.
District 5- Seat H: Forrest Dunbar, a Democrat.
Seat J: John Weddleton, no-party candidate.
For School Board, the seats up for election are:
- School Board – Seat A, Mark Foster, the incumbent, is serving an appointed, temporary term.
- School Board – Seat B, the incumbent is Starr Marsett
- The school board candidate packet is here.
Three candidates have filed so far:
Seat A: Margo Bellamy, a no-party candidate and Warren James Smallwood, a no-party candidate.
Seat B: Starr Marsett, a Democrat.
Board of Supervisors, including Road Service Areas packet can be found at this link:
Boards of Supervisors, including LRSA
Candidates for Municipal office must reside in the municipality of Anchorage, be a qualified voter, and meet other criteria. As for ballot initiatives, the deadline for submitting petition signatures is Jan. 28.
The complete election calendar with deadlines is linked here.
Click here for the Municipal Clerk’s Office, which has more information.
On a somewhat related note: I recently attended a meeting of the Public Transit Advisory Board, of which Gretchen Wemhoff was recently a member before vacating that seat in favor of the Assembly seat. From what I heard multiple times during the meeting, they have so many vacancies that they haven’t conducted any business in at least two or three months due to lack of a quorum. They encouaged me to apply. Since I’m undecided as to whether I’m here temporarily or permanently, I haven’t updated my voter registration and therefore I’m ineligible to apply at this moment because I’m still registered to vote in Fairbanks. I didn’t ask too many questions, so I don’t know whether advisory boards in general in Anchorage have this same problem, if there’s a problem with Berkie being a bit too selective in appointing people, etc. If you’re interested in serving the community but don’t feel like the Assembly or School Board is the right choice, this might be worth investigating.
Sean, becoming a member of a municipal board or commission is a long, long wait. Whether this is a Berkie thing or not, I don’t know. I know people that have been waiting for months, some well over a year to hear about their status while the slots go unfilled. These are highly qualified people, of all sides of the political spectrum, ready to serve and get their hands dirty. I’m not sure where the bottleneck is. But, if you need to expedite a .10 cent a gallon tax on your gasoline or the removal of plastic bags from the grocery stores…..
“Gretchen Wehmhoff, an appointed Democrat seeking to represent the very-red Eagle River.”
Did I misread something? I thought she was voted in by the assembly because she was the only one who agreed to be an interim member and not run for the seat in April.
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