Kodiak residents braved the rain and wind to vote in Tuesday’s local elections for borough and city offices. KMXT’s Maggie Wall has this report.
Click audio player below to listen to Maggie’s report
In the race for Kodiak Island Borough Mayor, Bill Roberts is a clear winner with more than twice the votes of his challenger, Sandra Katelnikoff-Lester. Roberts had 888 votes compared to Katelnikoff-Lester’s 411.
The other clear winner was Julie Cain Hill, incumbent school board member, who has 1,000 votes compared to new-comer Cejie Benoit’s 254.
The three men running for two seats on the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly are closer in votes. The number of people who voted absentee was not reported last night, but it will take a lot of absentee votes for Mel Stephens for him to catch up to Duane Dvorak.
With all precincts counted, Scott Arndt leads with a comfortable 796 votes, next is Dvorak with 769 followed by Stephens with 598.
In an election night interview Arndt said, “that is a pretty big spread.”
“Some people told me I would be the high vote getter. I thought it would be a real close election. And, it’s always hard to tell.”
Arndt has been on and off the assembly several times in the past decades, through highs and lows of the state’s finances. This current low-budget period—with the governor’s big cuts and big changes in state policy have him concerned.
“I’m sorry that we’ve got a lot of hard decisions ahead of us. It’s going to take everybody trying to think of different ways to try to make things work.”
He adds that he appreciates the voters’ support, but he cautions voting isn’t going to be enough, there’s a lot of work to be done and residents need to step up.
“I appreciate the support. It’s encouraging. But we need to get as many people as possible involved, too, over the course of the next probably six months here in trying to figure out what we’re going to do with the cost shifting that the governor is doing right now.”
Arndt’s cell phone kept ringing as we spoke, probably friends congratulating him on his re-election.
Election results are unofficial until after absentee and questioned ballots are counted and the election in certified.