With more than 3,366 ballots received by the Anchorage Municipal Clerk as of Friday, the election for the 12th member of the Anchorage Assembly will end Tuesday, June 21. About 36,000 ballot envelopes were mailed to voters living in North Anchorage on May 31.
The turnout at the latest count was 9.35%.
Anchorage voters approved creating the 12th seat for Anchorage during last year’s municipal election. However, before it could be populated with an Assembly member, the Assembly undertook redistricting, redrawing the political boundaries for Anchorage, so the Assembly Leftist majority could diminish the power of the growing Eagle River conservative vote.
The new downtown seat will create more power for the already powerful Leftist majority, adding strength to the ability to override a mayor’s veto.
The election underway is only for those living in Assembly District 1, which is currently represented by Assemblyman Chris Constant. The new seat will give Constant more power, too, and creates an even number of members for the Assembly, which could be a problem in the future if there is a tie vote. Right now, the problem is theoretical, since the Assembly is heavily dominated by Leftists who typically vote in lock step with each other.
The candidates running for the 12th seat include Robin Phillips, Stephanie Taylor, Daniel Volland, Tasha Hotch, Rob Forbes, and Cliff Baker.
The Democrats on the Assembly have been pushing Volland for this seat. Wherever a Les Gara for governor sign or a Zack Fields for House sign is posted, you’ll find a Volland sign alongside it. In fact, Volland has the endorsement of a number of hardline Democrats, including Reps. Andy Josphson, Zack Fields, Harriet Drummond, and Sens. Tom Begich and Elvi Gray-Jackson.
But Tasha Hotch, who has run for school board in the past, has been making a push for her candidacy, with a promise of cleared roads within 24 hours. She is endorsed by Anchorage Democrats, who have also endorsed Volland.
As for actually clearing roads, candidate Stephanie Taylor was spotted pushing a broken-down truck out of the road in the district, while sporting a pack of campaign cards in her back pocket. Stephanie is fresh from a winter campaign against Forrest Dunbar, who serves East Anchorage. Redistricting gave Taylor the opportunity to run again in her new district. After pushing the truck, she continued door-to-door, and then went to cast her own ballot at a secure drop box in the district.
Candidate Rob Forbes is a business developer who trends Libertarian who says he won’t vote in a bloc with anyone, but will represent his district. He lives in the South Addition neighborhood.
Candidate Cliff Baker is a land surveyor and wilderness first responder.
Candidate Phillips is employed by the Ted Stevens Foundation and has been active in politics her whole life. Her late mother Gail Phillips was House Speaker.
Because Monday is a federal holiday, U.S. Postal Service is closed for business. Voters may vote at City Hall or drop their ballot envelope at a secure dropbox by 8 pm on June 21.