Notes from the trail: The push for November general election has begun, but first, local elections are nigh


Most Alaska localities will have municipal and borough elections on Oct. 4.

Juneau: The Capital City’s municipal election will be mail-in for the third time, but for the first time the city will have it own ballot-counting machines. During the past two elections, officials have flown the ballots to Anchorage and contracted with the City Clerk to count Juneau’s election.

Ballots for this election will be mailed on Tuesday, Sept. 13, to all Juneau voters at the address on file with the State of Alaska Division of Elections. 

In addition to mailing in their ballots, there will be a couple of secure drop boxes that will be available 24-7 beginning Sept. 19. One will be at the Douglas Library; and the other at Statter Harbor.

Voters can return them by mail with postage. The city encourages getting the post office to hand-cancel that postage with a legible date on the postmark. Hundreds of ballots in last year’s election were rejected because of postmarking issues. People can also bring ballots to City Hall and the Mendenhall Public Library. More information about the Juneau election at this link.

Charlie Pierce: Tuesday night was Mayor Charlie Pierce’s final Assembly meeting after five years as mayor. He was planning to talk about his accomplishments as a mayor. Also, it looks like the Borough Assembly is going to swear in former Mayor Mike Navarre for the borough’s temporary mayor, until there’s a special election held to finish out the final year for Mayor Pierce. (Navarre is a Democrat and on the Bill Walker for Governor campaign committee.)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy: Dunleavy will be in Homer on Wednesday evening for a meet-and-greet. He’s planning a press conference on Thursday, sources say, to announce what will be an historic Permanent Fund dividend.

Cook Political ratings for Congress:

Palin’s histrionics: Questions are being asked — can candidate Nick Begich in all good faith recommend that voters rank second the person who is calling him “Baggage”? Or did Palin on Sunday self-immolate? Her Sunday public display has the whole state talking about her stability.

Random stumble: Sarah Palin on Sunday called out MRAK writer Suzanne Downing as a special problem for Palin and kept pointing at a woman in the media scrum she thought was Downing. It was actually Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin. Downing was not present at the press conference at the Palin house but sends Ruskin deepest sympathies for the mixup.

Begich v. Palin: It’s too late for any of the candidates to drop out but media commentator Ann Coulter has run the numbers. On her podcast, she says that Sarah Palin should have dropped out, as she has hit her voter ceiling:

Events coming up this week:

Noteworthy: Some business leaders who were formerly more aligned with the Tara Sweeney for Congress camp have come over to the Nick Begich for Congress camp, such as Jim Jansen, Rick Fox, Dana Cruz, Casey Sullivan, and Kara Moriarty. Also notable is that a longtime friend and campaign fundraiser for Congressman Don Young has signed up as a cosponsor to a fundraiser: Curtis Thayer, one of the biggest names in the successes of Don Young.

Kelly Tshibaka: Senate candidate will be walking door to door in neighborhoods in Anchorage this week. Next week she’ll be in Southeast Alaska. Seen above, a rainbow over the Kelly Thsibaka sign on the Seward Highway.

Lisa Murkowski: Murkowski has been spending a lot of time in Ketchikan, her home turf. She’s been visiting schools and firewalls.


  1. Jim, go ahead and continue with enabling Sarah’s meltdown. I understand that you are loyal to the idea of Sarah and I respect that loyalty, it is a commendable trait however misplaced. Please remember though to rank Nick as your second even as I will rank Sarah second on my ballot.

    If we ” Rank the Red” we can be co-beligerents in opposition to the evil demoncrat machine. I’m sure that we share core beliefs and upon these we can find common ground despite our differences.

    • Bob, how can be called the Great Conservative, when so many of his second choice voters went with Mary. If you say oops, then what does that say about his Leadership skills, and Thirdly—why did so many Democrats Identify with him. I feel betrayed as a Sarah supporter, we kept up our side of the bargain. I’ll hold my Real Wrath until we get the mysterious overdo Second Choices from Sarahs’ and Mary’s counts.. What a MESS.

  2. Ann Coulter famously promoted Trump as the next coming of Jesus. She also publicly turned on him.

    Point being, her “endorsements” are momentary. She probably doesn’t want the competition for DC diva.

  3. Either is a risk. Sarah is more known. I’ll take Nick. Sarah’s knowns are all fails. Trump endorsed. Really, based on his WH appointments i place ZERO value in his ability to promote a solid candidate. Nick first and yes, hold back the wretch, I’ll mark Sarah 2nd.

  4. Once again Palin has screwed over Alaska! Not only did she leave Alaska flat with her eyes on the better prize when she was a questionable Governor; but now, with her refusing to drop out of the race, she has set up Alaska to have a Democratic Rep in the House. This will be a replay of the Special Election which just occurred. Since Rank Choice is confusing for most and not too many actually know how this works, Palin and Begich will likely split the vote again and Peltola (who has apparently received the Native and Liberal vote). Alaska will get the short end of the stick on this one too, since nothing comes to those States are run by Democrats… especially those who will be focused on how much more “free stuff” Natives can get from the Federal government along with boosting free-be programs. Needless to say, this Rank Choice nightmare needs to be put on the ballot to get rid of it. Murkowski pushed Rank Choice… maybe she and her Rank Choice can get pushed out the door too!

  5. Since we’re talking about local elections, I would urge Fairbanks North Star Borough voters to vote no on Proposition 2, the Assembly apportionment question. I’m trying to find time to write a full-length piece which will explain further. In the meantime, here’s a short version. AS 29.20.070 outlines a range of options that assemblies of general law boroughs can offer voters on the question. For the fifth consecutive decennial cycle, the Assembly has chosen to ignore those options and offer the extremely skewed question of yes/no on keeping the Assembly the way it is, being elected “at large”. Voting no will force the Assembly to have a dialogue with the community on adopting possibly more equitable apportionment schemes, considering the numerous times that five or six of the nine Assembly members have resided in one small corner of the borough. The vote to place this same question on the ballot was unanimous, despite there being members who were previously made aware of what AS 29.20.070 says. In general, this issue has been dominated by disinformation and gaslighting.

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