Election update: Anchorage school board race tightens

the logo and text on wall that reads "Anchorage School District -- Education All Students for Success in Life"
The Anchorage School District logo on a wall at the ASD Education Center (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage school board race between Kelly Lessens and Judy Eledge has narrowed to less than 100 votes, with Lessens holding onto a small lead Monday.

Mailed ballots still have about a week to arrive, and deputy municipal clerk Erika McConnell said there are likely another 8,000 votes to count.

If a race ends with less than half a percent difference between the candidates, the elections center will recount the scanned ballots. 

Right now, there’s just a 0.2% gap between Lessens and Eledge.

Lessens is a former researcher who has children in the Anchorage School District and earned the endorsement of Anchorage Democrats, while Eledge is a retired teacher who was part of a slate of conservative candidates trying to fill open board seats.

Lessens and Eledge are vying for the seat held by Starr Marsett, who announced her resignation last year. The winner will serve a one-year term.

The leaders in the other three school board races are Pat Higgins, Dora Wilson and Carl Jacobs. 

In the race for mayor, former Air Force pilot Dave Bronson surpassed East Anchorage Assembly member Forrest Dunbar on Friday, and had a 1,200 vote lead as of Monday.

Both appear to be headed for a runoff election May 11, since neither are expected to earn the 45% of the vote needed to win the election outright.

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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