Mayor Berkowitz, open bathrooms victorious - Must Read Alaska
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Mayor Berkowitz, open bathrooms victorious

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NO ON PROP 1 DROVE TURNOUT

It would be beyond extraordinary for the uncounted votes to change the outcome of Tuesday’s Anchorage Municipal Election.

Of the 50,000 votes counted, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz won 28,233 votes to Rebecca Logan’s 17,541 — a nearly 22 percent margin.

Any remaining ballots would have to nearly all go to Logan for her fortunes in this race to change.

Other minor candidates on that section of the ballot never reached two percent.

To force a runoff, Berkowitz would have to have had less than 45 percent of the vote, but today has 57 percent, a comfortable margin. Unless the remaining ballots were cast by hard Republicans, he has won another three years.

Prop. 1, the bathroom bill, was voted down 26,845, to 22,961. This was a question about whether transgenders and men may use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms if they feel more comfortable there. Over $1.1 million was spent to persuade voters, and that clearly drove turnout, as it was the second-most-voted-on question on the ballot.

Prop. 10, won with 67 percent of votes cast, although it only needed 50 percent plus one vote. It approves the sale of Municipal Light & Power to Chugach Electric Association.

The turnout, now at 30.44 percent is likely to reach 33 percent once all of the remaining ballots come in. Those are ballots that would be in the mail but have not yet arrived at the Municipality’s election office.

The city’s first-ever mail-in election cannot be said to have suppressed votes, nor was there a late “blue wave” of liberal votes. But the more than $1 million spent by the “No on Prop. 1” campaign drove turnout, and that favored the sitting mayor. “Yes on 1” was outspent nearly 10-to-1, after the final 7-day and 24-hour reports came in.

The top vote getter of the night was Berkowitz, and the second was No on Prop. 1.

The No on Prop. 1 campaign spent about $37 per no vote in the election. Their focus was on driving turnout, the results of which were reflected up and down the ballot.

NAME RECOGNITION WAS KEY

The Republican-to-Democrat advantage grew to about 7,500 voters on the final day of voting, which got off to a slow start in mid-March.

But in spite of the advantage that Republicans had over Democrats, the swing voters broke for Berkowitz, possibly because Ethan’s was the name on the ballot they knew.

Neither the Berkowitz nor the Logan campaign raised a significant war chest for their races, but the mayor, as a known commodity, out-raised Logan significantly and had public employee union support.

The bright spot for conservatives was the reelection of Elise Snelling for school board and the possible election of Alisha Hilde for school board. She leads by 347 votes, clearly too close to call.

ETHAN CAN TRUTHFULLY CLAIM A MANDATE FOR TAXES, SPENDING

In a crime-infested, high-unemployment city, where the liberal majority assembly has had the highest budgets in Anchorage history, the re-election of the mayor is a wake-up call for conservatives. Those who thought Anchorage was turning “purple” may reconsider after this week, and see more blue in that purple.

It’s also an election that will give comfort to Gov. Bill Walker, who is running far to the left of where he started his political career. Anchorage’s municipal vote gives his campaign a ground-truth indicator of how the Anchorage votes might break in November.

In Anchorage, resource jobs have left, health-care jobs have moved in, and government jobs have remained steady. The city is regressing to the norm for large urban centers in the U.S., undergoing a transformation that favors candidates supported by Democrats and the public employee unions.

 

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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.

Latest comments

  • Thanks Suzanne, it’s always interesting to read your perspective.

  • With this victory, look for the Mayor to move into full “sanctuary city” overdrive. He will avoid the label but otherwise do whatever it takes to reach that result. He showed his true colors in the US Conference of Mayors meeting.

    As for crime? Get used to it. And as for police and fire unions, look for them to flex their muscles.

    Anchorage is now going to be “fundamentally transformed”

    • And why wouldn’t he make us a sanctuary city? His wife Mara Kimmel is an immigration attorney.

  • Fundamentally transformed in many ways. Now that our toddlers and little girls are going to be forced to share bathrooms with grown men with psychiatric disorders regarding their God-given gender, crime is through the roof —with the promise of sanctuary for illegals on the horizon and no plan to repeal SB91 — on top of high unemployment and private sector jobs leaving the state, who would stay inAnchorage? It will change alright. The liberals and the criminals will be all that’s left and they won’t be able to tax the criminals. God help us.

  • I had not visited Anchorage in over two years but was up there a week ago. I did not feel safe although I was not downtown. The feel of the city has changed. I fully expected to have my car broken into or stolen. I won’t be returning. Sad, I live on the Kenai Peninsula and used to look forward to Anchorage trips.

    • Suzan, how is Kenai as far as being more conservative than Anchorage? We’re in Oregon which has become so far left I can hardly keep an eye on the politics because it’s so disturbing. We lived in SE (Ketchikan & Petersburg) for 6 years then came down here for work/family reasons but miss AK and enjoy Kenai so we have been thinking of moving there. Sounds like you could use more conservative types. But we don’t want to jump from the kettle into the fire!!!

        • Ok!

      • I am a Kenai resident and the central peninsula area is more conservative. The south peninsula (ie Homer) tends to lean more liberal.

        • Thanks Tim

  • so do we have to booby trap our vehicles when traveling to vehicle theft anchorage?do we have to wait till we get home to safely sit on the toilet?

    • Yes, we do. Both and.

  • I didn’t think things could get worse in Anchorage. I am not hopeful about the future. Sadly, we may have moved so far to the left there is no going back.

  • As a retired person, I have choices. We have property in Eagle River which we will look now to sell and move to a place that has not lost all common sense. What a disappointment! I thought for sure with all the crime, the mayor’s name would be changed. Anchorage is so different now from the great place I once gave up everything to move to. May God have mercy upon Anchorage – you’re going to need it!

    • Try Short Creek (Utah and Arizona border), Jim.

  • True words. Anchorage is regressing. There is very little real economy here any more. Resource extraction is on the way out. Most Anchoragites are public sector employees or those that service the public sector. The vote counts show this. Anchorage will continue to consume itself until it is another Detroit.

  • So one of these days when I am channeling the inner woman in me and I go into the womens bathroom and there is no urinal should I piss on the radiator in protest?

  • Anchorage has become a sick and perverted city. Alaska has fallen into a cesspool of filth. I feel ill

  • Interesting article and comments. You all need to get up a little earlier tomorrow as it is always darkest just before the dawn and you obviously missed the sunrise today moaning about how great the darkness is… Just Sayin.

  • When did Anchorage decide or vote in this “Vote by mail in ballots”???
    There was no question in my mind that the whole thing was rigged… knew the mayor would be named the winner, knew the prop 1 would go “no”, knew the power plant sale would go through…I would like to know what we can do about any future voting… this whole thing stinks!

    • You and your ilk will just have to get your hands on more ballots and vote over and over again so it’s no longer “rigged.” Heheh!

  • I am thinking if your roots were as deep as most here, you would feel quite differently.

  • Below is what this election has shown me about Anchorage:
    1. You will bake the cake.
    2. You will use the proper pronoun.
    3. You will not object when a man enters a ladies locker room.
    In short, you will become part of the collective, or you will pay the price.

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