Jennifer Canfield /KMXT
Local elections were held yesterday. So far, all precincts have reported. The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly has six candidates running for three seats. It looks like Tuck Bonney is a shoe in.
Bonney has a solid 143-vote-lead against Mel Stephens. But the spread between Stephens and incumbents Dave Kaplan and Judy Fulp isn’t as big. Fulp is in fourth place 44 votes behind Kaplan, and Kaplan is in third place 24 votes behind Stephens. The borough clerk’s office has 139 absentee ballots to still consider and up to 12 more mail-in ballots are expected by October 12th.
Absentee ballots could change everything for assembly frontrunners. Kodiak City Mayor Pat Branson– who ran uncontested this year– says, " It’s not over until it’s over. The trend is to vote absentee, so those will be key. I’ve seen elections change because of those and it’s very close between those three."
Fulp got a boost from the villages where she received the most votes of all the candidates. Fulp says, "If I lose I still feel very good about getting their vote."
Unofficial counts show voter turnout was significantly lower this year than last year’s. Kaplan says, "This is a low voter turnout. It’s disappointing to me with the six candidates for assembly and the two propositions on the ballot that we had less than last year."
Newcomers Gail Brandt and Dennis Symmons got the least votes, Brandt with 491and Symmons with 456. Brandt says, "I really think we need some new blood in there and I hope they take more time making decisions about spending all that money."
The proposition to impose term limits on elected borough officials didn’t pass and neither did the one percent sales tax increase that would pay for the construction of the new high school that voters approved last year. Kaplan says, "With the expansion of the high school we are going to raise property taxes, we have no choice. It doesn’t matter who’s on the assembly, that’s the way it’s gonna go."
For the one-year seat on the Kodiak Island Borough School District Board, incumbent Peggy Rauwolf came out ahead by nearly 300 votes. Rauwolf says Tallino would be an asset to the school board and that she hopes to see him run again. Rauwolf’s one-year term will be up next year and she doesn’t plan to run again. Also, current school board president Norm Wooten’s term will be up as well. Tallino says he probably will run next year.
The election results are expected to be finalized by October 20th.