Dunbar and Bronson still lead Anchorage mayor’s race as more ballots are counted

a person shows their ballot before placing it in a secure ballot drop box
Jim Curtis drops off his ballot at the Loussac Library voting center just before 6 p.m. on April 5, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Assembly member Forrest Dunbar and former Air Force pilot Dave Bronson are still leading the race for mayor after the Anchorage municipal clerk added a second batch of votes to the results of the April 6 election Wednesday afternoon.

With more than 41,000 ballots counted, Dunbar has 13,711 votes (33.2%) and Bronson has 12,986 (31.5%). The other candidates for mayor are well behind them — former city manager Bill Falsey follows with 5,312 votes (12.9%), then former Assembly member Bill Evans with 3,871, businessman Mike Robbins with 3,097 (7.5%) and former special assistant to the mayor, George Martinez with 1,272 (3.1%).

If no candidate earns more than 45% of the vote, the top two will move on to a runoff election next month.

On Tuesday evening, Dunbar said he expected to be one of the runoff candidates along with Bronson. “We feel pretty good,” he said. “We’re hoping that the people of Anchorage will again come and exercise their democratic rights [at the May 11 runoff].”

In an emailed statement on Wednesday, Bronson said the numbers “show that Anchorage is ready for a new direction” and he’s looking forward to continuing the campaign.

All of the progressive school board candidates held onto their leads. Kelly Lessens had 14,494 votes followed by Judy Eledge with 13,588 for seat B. Pat Higgins had 12,549 votes, followed by Sami Graham with 11,326, both well ahead of incumbent Alisha Hilde with 4,712 in the race for seat E. Dora Wilson led the race for seat F with 16,491 votes, followed by Kim Paulson with 11,769. And for seat G, Carl Jacobs had 18,161 votes to incumbent Elisa Vakalis’ 16,914.

The petition to recall Assembly Chair Felix Rivera was still failing with 3,821 no votes and 2,761 yes votes.

Proposition 1, which would fund municipal facilities upgrades, was still leaning no. The rest of the bond propositions appear to have support, though Proposition 8, which would fund new vehicles for Anchorage Police Department, was passing by less than 80 votes.

The city received 57,962 ballots by Tuesday, according to data from the municipal clerk’s office. That means more than 70% of the ballots received so far have been counted. Mail-in ballots still have time to arrive and the clerk will continue reporting updated results over the next two weeks.

This is a breaking story, check back for updates.

Kavitha George is Alaska Public Media’s climate change reporter. Reach her at kgeorge@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Kavitha here.

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