Bill Popp, the president of Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, a public agency, has filed for mayor of Anchorage.
He said in a statement that he will pivot away from his role at AEDC to focus full time on his campaign. It’s unclear if he is on paid leave at AEDC, since earlier he said he would remain at AEDC through December.
Popp said he is running to bring professional competency and decorum to local government. He said Anchorage cannot take another step back in improving business and public service availability.
Popp is considered a liberal. He served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and as a special assistant to two Kenai Borough mayors. He came to Anchorage with his family inn 1968, when his father was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base.
Popp joins a race that has three other strong candidates: Incumbent Mayor Dave Bronson, former Assembly Chairwoman Suzanne LaFrance, and former legislator and school board member Chris Tuck.
His candidacy is not a surprise, as Popp has been telling people for weeks that he would officially file on Sept. 12.
He appears to be using the AEDC data base to reach possible contributors for his campaign, according to one resident who was reached out to by Popp.
The Anchorage mayor’s race may cost candidates up to $700,000 apiece, not counting the independent expenditure groups, which work separately.
The election ends April 2. Anchorage votes by mail, with ballots in the mail in the middle of March.