Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor Rodney Dial, a conservative, is leading with 1,632 votes, or 54% of the vote against challenger Katie Parrott, who has 1,359 votes, in early results for Ketchikan’s Oct. 4 local elections. Approximately 680 ballots are still expected in through the mail and will be counted on Oct. 10, but it appears Dial has won.
In the race for two seats on Ketchikan’s Borough Assembly, incumbent Austin Otos leads with 1,739 votes. Incumbent Glen Thompson is in second with 1,288 votes. Michael Iann Martin is in third, with 1,075 votes. Joshua Titus has 862 votes.
Otos and Thompson will win the three-year seats. Incumbent Assemblyman Jeremy Bynum has chosen to run for State House of Representatives against Rep. Daniel Ortiz.
Melissa O’Bryan and Tom Heutte are apparent winners for the two seats on the school board. O’Bryan has 1,755 votes and Heutte has 1,219. The third-place candidate, Robb Arnold, has 1,036 votes.
The ballot proposition on non-areawide library powers failed, with 692 voting yes and 851 voting no. The measure would have cut library funding, removing a 0.7 mill property tax on residences and business properties in the borough, outside Ketchikan and Saxman city limits. Borough residents and businesses provide close to 40% of the Ketchikan Public Library’s annual budget.
Proponents of the proposition have objections to the push by local the local library to host drag queen story hour and LGBTQ content at the library that targets young children. Proponents predicted it would not pass, and did not mount a strong campaign of any sort, but intended to make a point about the inappropriate gender ideology being pushed by the library.
Voters in the Gateway Borough also chose to keep area-wide representation on the Assembly, by a vote of 2,528 to 397.
City of Ketchikan voters re-elected Mark Flora and Lallette Kistler to three-year terms on the City Council. Flora is vice mayor of Ketchikan and Kistler is an incumbent, who was appointed to fill out the term of Dave Kiffer, was elected mayor last year.
Jack Finnegan was elected to a one-year City Council term. He is a charter fishing operator and involved in the arts and humanities scene in the First City.