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

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Pool of candidates running for elected office expanded this week

Deadline to file petitions for mayor, council and school board is this Thursday


March 14, 2018

A number of potential candidates have come forward to take out or file petitions to run for vacancies that are coming up this May for the municipal elections.

As of Tuesday morning, March 13, council members Jim Shirrell and Darren Reese have returned completed petitions to run for mayor. Hopeful Bob Engebretson – who took out a petition early in the process, had not yet returned a completed petition.

The nominating petitions for the mayor’s seat must have the signatures of 50 qualified voters in order for a candidate’s name to be accepted for the ballot. Candidates running for city council must submit a petition with 25 signatures; the same is required for candidates hoping to win a seat on the board of education for Valdez City Schools.

Engebretson also has taken out a petition to run for a three-year term for city council, but can only return one completed petition - either for council or mayor - but not for both according to Sheri Pierce, the city clerk.

Other community members have returned completed petitions for the three council seats that are opening. Sue Ellen Montes, Ron Ruff, James Devens and Derek Morris have taken out and returned completed petitions to run for two open seats that will be for three-year terms. Council member Dennis Fleming, whose term is expiring, has taken out a nominated petition but had not yet returned it by early Tuesday morning.

A two-year term on council is also opening; council member Chris Moulton has taken out a petition to run for the shorter term, but likewise had not returned it with the required signatures. Another hopeful for the seat, Neal Martin, has also taken out a petition but had not returned it before the Valdez Star was set to go to press.

There are two three-year terms up for election for the board of education. The seats are currently held by long-time board members Dr. Kathleen Todd and Dolores Gard.

Todd has returned a complete petition; Gard took out a petition to run again but had not returned it as of Tuesday morning.

Two other hopefuls have taken out petitions but had not returned the documents, Sonya Lynn Ash Selanoff and Steven Weber.

While the pool of potential candidates has expanded from last week, it could grow, as the deadline to file for office is still open until the close of the business day, March 15.

“They have until Thursday at 5 p.m.” said Shelly McMillen, the records manager for the city clerk’s office who is in charge of the office this week as Pierce and deputy city clerk Allie Ferko are out of the office this week.

McMillen said the list of candidates who returned completed petitions will be available Friday.

“I will have a final list of who has returned them,” she said.

The election for mayor, city council and school board is May 1.

Qualifications to take out a nominating petition for an elected position are easy. Candidates must be registered to vote within the Valdez city limits, and have been a full-time resident for at least one year according to the clerk’s office.

Any Valdez resident who is planning to participate in the election must be registered to vote with a Valdez address by April 1.

Information on election day, as well as absentee voting and other election matters can be found on the city’s website or at city hall.


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