Few takers for Valdez school board and mayor positions
Nine council hopefuls will be on the October ballot when Valdez voters go to the polls to elect three new council members.
Wanda Clark, Kris Obrien, Christian McGee, Josh Swierk, Donna Schantz, Allen Crume, Chris Moulton, Nate Smith and Jeremy Miner all returned completed petitions to the city clerk’s office before Friday’s deadline and are official candidates for Valdez City Council.
“Those names will be on the ballot,” Sheri Pierce, city clerk and election official for Valdez, said during a report to the Valdez City Council during its regular meeting Monday night. “Our office closed for candidates Friday at 5 p.m.”
No incumbents are running for council as Joe Prax, Steve McCann and Alan Sorum, whose terms expire in October, declined to file to run for office this time around.
The same cannot be said for the mayor’s seat.
“The candidates are Dave Cobb and Rich Long,” Pierce said.
Dave Cobb is the incumbent mayoral hopeful; challenger Rich Long is a former council member.
Terms for mayor and city council are for two years; school board terms are for three years.
Only two names will appear on the ballot to fill the two seats available for the board of education. Incumbent Dr. Kathy Todd has successfully filed her petition for reelection to the school board. Dolores Gard, a former school board member who unsuccessfully ran for office in last year’s elections, will be on the ballot and will presumably win the second seat.
There will also be a bond proposition on the ballot, asking voters to give a thumbs up or down on funding a new school to the tune of $39 million.
“That is for our middle school bonding,” Pierce said. “The public will be hearing more about that bond.”
Pierce reminded voters about upcoming deadlines for all three elections this year.
Absentee voting has already opened for the state and federal primary election. Any Valdez registered voter can vote early at city hall during regular business hours before the Aug. 28 primary Peirce said. Voters that are currently out of town must contact the State Division of Elections to be able to vote absentee.
Valdez voters will also have an opportunity to meet and question candidates for District 6 Alaska House and District C Senate this Thursday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Valdez City Council Chambers.
A similar forum to meet and question council, mayor and school board candidates will be announced next week.