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

Editor, Valdez Star 

Coin-toss decides third council seat in municipal elections

Advisory vote on council pay fails while other propositions get approval


Incumbent council member Chris Moulton will sit for another two-year term after a coin toss settled a tie with candidate Darren Reese.

Preliminary election results gave Reese a two-vote lead over Moulton when the votes were tallied with absentee and questioned ballots Wednesday morning.

"Following an Elections Canvas Board hand count, City Council candidates Darren Reese and Christopher Moulton are tied for the third City Council seat with 280 votes each," said Allie Ferko, deputy city clerk in an email update Wednesday evening. "Mayor Weaver will decide the winner of the race by coin toss at tonight's Council meeting."

Incumbent Nate Smith easily won re-election, as did former council member Dennis Fleming, who upset incumbent Jim Shirrell.

Incumbent school board member Alan Sorum was elected to fill a one-year term on the board. Incumbent Joe Prax was also re-elected by a wide margin. Newcomer Melissa Cockerham was also elected to a three-year term.

The hand-count to determine voter intent in the council race was conducted at the behest of the Elections Canvas Board - which is routine in elections with a two vote spread. Proposition 3, an advisory vote on paying council members and the mayor for attending regular meetings, failed to pass by five votes.

Propositions one, two and four all passed.

Ruth Knight, who ran unopposed to fill the mayor's seat, was indeed elected and will be sworn into office at the regular council meeting of May 17.


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