Filing deadline yields 13 council candidates
Five will compete for two seats on the board of education
There were plenty of last-minute entries for this October’s municipal elections in Valdez, and 13 candidates will vie for three open seats on city council, and five for two seats on the board of education.
In order presented by Sheri Pierce, city clerk, the candidates for city council are: James "Hotai" Williams, Mike Wells (incumbent), David Lyle, Karen Ables (incumbent), Nancy Lethcoe, Nicole Tifft, Wanda Clark, Nate Smith, Dennis Fleming, Rich Long, Ruth Knight, Selah Bauer, and Kyle Hoffman.
Council seats serve two-year terms. Dorothy Moore is the lone council member that did not file a petition to maintain her elected seat.
Hopefuls for school board are Steven Brockman (incumbent), Jessica Vincent, BJ Williams, Alan Sorum, and Joe Prax.
Seats on the board of education are for three-year terms. Board member Toni Balowski did not file a petition to run again in the upcoming election.
The open period for candidates to turn in completed petitions for public office closed at 5 p.m. Friday according to Pierce, who serves as the city’s election official.
While there are many familiar faces among the candidates for both governing bodies, there are also newcomers to elected office.
To help voters get to know the fresh faces in the upcoming election, a forum to “Meet the Candidates” will be held at Valdez City Council Chambers Wednesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by Tony Gorman and the Valdez Star.
All candidates will be invited to attend the event, which allows participants to question all candidates about specific issues that are relevant to the election.
Elections for both school board and council is Tuesday, October 1. To be eligible to vote in the election, voters must be properly registered with a Valdez address no later than 30 days before election day.
According to the clerk’s office, there are four additional ways a voter can cast a ballot if waiting for the day of the election is not an option.
Ballots can be cast by mail, electronically, in person before the election or absentee through a personal representative.
Forms for voting by mail can be obtained at Valdez City Hall or online at the city’s website.
“It is advisable to apply for your absentee by mail ballot at least 4 weeks prior to the election to assure the voted ballot reaches the clerk’s office before October 1,” the clerk’s office said.
Voters hoping to cast a ballot by fax or email must contact the clerk’s office at 834-3408. Voters can request electronic ballots as early as September 16.
The deadline to request a ballot to be cast by a personal representative is also September 16. To qualify, a voter must be otherwise qualified to vote, but be physically disabled.
September 16 is also the day voters can begin casting ballots early if they are planning to be absent from Valdez on the day of the election. The polls will be open at city hall during regular business hours. The last day to cast an absentee ballot in person is Monday, September 30.
Voters with additional questions can contact the clerk’s office according to Pierce.