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Mat-Su voters to choose Assembly, School Board


Absentee voting in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough elections begins on Oct. 21. This will be the first local election in line with November General Election in the Mat-Su, since voters passed that change in 2018, although this is a non-General Election year.

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Prop 3, which moved the election to November, means those living in the Borough now vote at a different time than those who live within Palmer, Wasilla, or Houston city limits. Some 79,191 are eligible to vote for the election that ends Nov. 5, 2019. In 2018, the turnout was 15 percent, and civic leaders hope to improve on that turnout, especially during General Election cycles.

[Read: Mat-Su votes to move elections to November]

On the ballot this year are candidates running for Mat-Su Borough Assembly and School Board. Must Read Alaska identifies them by their political affiliation and/or whether they are endorsed by a party or political organization, such as a union:

The top two candidates for Assembly District 1

Assembly District 1 – Jim Sykes is term-limited

  • BUSH, J. Bruce – Republican.
  • ENDLE, Brian – Republican, Region 2 Alaska Republicans and Alaska Republican Assembly have endorsed Endle.
  • HALE, Tim – Undeclared affiliation, but endorsed by the Democratic Party, and three union PACS, with $500-$1,000 each. Hale has raised $22,000 to Brian Endle’s $10,000. (APOC report linked here). Hale’s donors include Casey Steinau, chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party, and Al Gross, the Democratic Party’s choice for U.S. Senate. This indicates the Democrats are serious about taking this seat.
  • MILLER, Ryan – Republican. (Edited to indicate that he has not, in fact, withdrawn.)

Photo of Stephanie Nowers and LaMarr Anderson
Candidates for Assembly Seat 2

Assembly District 2 – Matthew Beck is term-limited

  • ANDERSON, LaMarr L. – Republican, endorsed by District 11 Republicans (all five precincts are in District 11).
  • NOWERS, Stephanie – Undeclared affiliation. Union endorsed and campaign is funded by Alaska Public Employees Association.
  • DONEY, Faunus M. – Democrat.
    MAXSON, Elizabeth A. “Liz”- Republican candidate is also known as “Elizabeth A. Utter.”

Candidates for School Board District 2

School Board District 2 – Incumbent Ray Michaelson

  • HART, James E. “Jim” – Republican, Region 2 Alaska Republican and Alaska Republican Assembly endorsed.
  • MICHAELSON, Ray – Nonpartisan, incumbent.

Candidates for School Board District 5

School Board District 5 – Ryan Ponder is incumbent by appointment

  • HARTLEY, Alma N. – Democrat, endorsed by MSEA teachers union. She is the only school board candidate endorsed by the union.
  • PONDER, D. Ryan – Republican incumbent by appointment, endorsed by Region 2 Republicans, and Alaska Republican Assembly.

School Board District 7

  • TAYLOR, V. Jeff – Republican. Endorsed by Region 2 Republicans and Alaska Republican Assembly.
NEA affiliate union endorses these candidates.


  • Oct. 29: Last day to request an Absentee By-Mail ballot.
  • Oct. 31: Last day to declare a write-in candidacy.
  • Nov. 4: Absentee In-Person voting ends at all locations, except at the Borough Administration Building (Dorothy Swanda Jones Building) in Palmer.
  • Nov. 5: Absentee In-Person voting ends at 5 p.m. at the Borough Administration Building (Dorothy Swanda Jones Building) in Palmer.
  • Nov. 19: Election is certified.
  • Absentee and in-person voting locations and more voter information is at this link.
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. This is Ryan Miller, Candidate actively running for District 1. To say that I have withdrawn is far from true. Several weeks ago while the Republican party was inquiring about an endorsement after already choosing to back Endle, Carol stated that my campaign would endanger Endle as two Republicans against a Democrat would devide votes. I did tell 1 person I was planning on bowing out,
    and backing Endle welll before the deadline. Though after careful consideration and after reading that fellow constituents thought Endle was flopping on issues and being dishonest, I know it would be the wrong decision. I live by values instilled in the military and will not give in to someone else who does not hold the same values. Hopefully this article will be adjusted as no official has heard of me attempting to withdraw, nor have I made any public statement to back Endle, I’ve never even spoken to the candidate.


    SGT Ryan Miller (Ret)
    Candidate for assembly District 1

    • SGT Miller,

      I apologize publicly to you and to Ms. Downing. I provided MRAK with the synopsis of the MSB elections last week. The information I provided I thought to be accurate at the time. I was wrong, and for that I apologize to both of you.
      Concerning Mr. Endle, I believe you are mistaken as far as his flopping on issues and being dishonest. Research Mr. Endle’s posting on FB over the last three years, I think you will find it refreshing to find an individual who has been consistent in his stance on important borough issues. I know Brian very well, his values and his integrity are beyond reproach. Brian Endle holds the same values as myself, I am the Endle Campaign Chairman as well as the Campaign’s Senior Policy Advisor on Veteran and Senior Affairs. I am a senior citizen, a Vietnam War Veteran and a NRA Endowment member. I know Brian’s position on these issues very well, he holds these same values as you and I.
      Sgt Ron Johnson (Ret)

  2. SGT Johnson,
    I find it interesting that the campaign chairman for my apponent is deciding who will be listed publicly in a news article from my own party. I am and have been listed publicly as attending the forums in the next two days, surely you as Endless campaign chairman would have seen that. I accept your apology, yet would like to point out that one of the reasons I am running is because our assembly has been at times influenced by others that did not run, it sounds to me like you should have run, I respect all you and your wife do at the assembly podium, and I appreciate your service.


    SGT Ryan Miller (Ret)
    [email protected]

  3. Won’t a divided ticket absolutely _hand_ this seat to the Democrats? How many times does this lesson need to be learned? You two (Endle and Miller) need to put your personal ambitions behind the bigger picture – make a gentleman’s agreement to support each other in other ways (future election?) or just play a game of poker (or a spelling bee) to settle who bows out and then very loudly and repeatedly communicate the result to voters. Otherwise congratulate Tim on his win now.

  4. That is Sleezy That Mr. Endle would first off lie about this, and then pressure another qualified candidate (far more than Endle) to Withdraw and Support Him. Veterans Need A Voice and Have Been Ignored by the Borough. Also, YOU should check your facts, there were no endorsements from ANY Political parties outside Of Brian.

  5. I, Ryan Miller am endorsing Brian Endle, If you hold my conservative values, please vote for him. I am bowing out of the race. I pray and hope you can help me award great representation of the valley with Brian. Thank you.


    Ryan Miller

  6. Tim Hale has NOT been endorsed by the Democratic Party!! That Is Slander! Tim Has Been Endorsed and support d By dozens of Republicans and Conservatives and Libertarians!

Comments are closed.

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