The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Election update: Few takers for city seats

Mayor, school board and city council have open seats


Potential candidates for Valdez elections have until 5 p.m. Friday to return completed petitions to the city clerk’s office to have their names included on the ballot in the October 2 elections for school board, city council and mayor.

“For council we have eight (petitions) out and only three have been returned,” Holly Powers, deputy city clerk, said Monday afternoon.

Only Kris Obrien, Christian McGee and Wanda Clark will be on the Valdez ballot for three open seats on the Valdez City Council unless other potential candidates return completed petitions to run for office by the deadline.

So far, five other hopefuls have taken out petitions from the clerk’s office to run for council, but had not returned them as of early Monday afternoon.

Valdez residents Joshua Swierk, Donna Schantz, Hope Turner, Alan Crume and Rick Wade must return the petitions – which require 25 signatures of registered Valdez voters – to the clerk’s office.

Wade also took out a petition to run for Valdez mayor according to the clerk’s office. Petitions for mayor must contain valid signatures of 50 Valdez voters in order for a candidate’s name to appear on the ballot.

Wade is currently the only potential mayoral challenger to incumbent Dave Cobb.

“Dave is the only one who has returned his,” Powers said Monday.

City council and mayoral seats are for two-year terms.

Candidates for school board are even more scarce according to Powers.

Incumbent Dr. Kathy Todd was the only potential candidate for school board at the time of the interview, and her petition had not yet been returned.

There are currently two seats for school board up for election. School board terms are for three years.

“It will be Friday at five,” Powers said, “We should know who’s running.”

Valdez voters will also have a bond proposition on the local ballot. Proposition One will ask Valdez voters to approve a $39 million bond to build a new middle school.

The local elections on October 2, are one of three elections set for this year. The primary elections for state and federal offices are set for August 28. The general election will be November 6.

Voters must be registered at their current address 30 days before election dates.

Valdez Star photo

Sharon Cissna is taking on Goliath, hoping to upset Don Young to represent Alaska in the US House of Representatives. Cissna, D-Anchorage, visited Valdez to meet voters last week in her quest to upset Young. She is not running again for the Alaska House she currently holds.

There is a crowded field of candidates hoping to represent Valdez and the other communities in House District 6, which is similar in geography to its former configuration when it was District 12. Incumbent Eric Feige (R-Chickaloon) is running for re-election, but faces a challenger for the Republican nomination in the face of George Rauscher, R-Sutton. Feige is hoping for a second term, but must win the nomination by besting Rauscher during the August 28 primary election. Rauscher or Feige will face off against the lone Democratic hopeful, Jamey Duhamel of Sutton.

The race is on to see who will be the Republican nominee for the District C senate race. Three republican candidates will be on the primary ballot; Click Bishop of Fairbanks, David Eastman of Palmer and Ralph Seekins of Fairbanks. Former republican hopeful Bill Ward of Delta Junction withdrew his candidacy early on in the election process. Anne Sunkamp of Fairbanks is the lone Democrat running for Senate District C.

There will be a Meet the Candidates forum for state office candidates for Senate District C and House District 6 at 6 p.m. August 23, at the Valdez City Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend this event to get to know the candidates who hope to represent Valdez in the upcoming Alaska legislature.


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