A week after Anchorage election, most left-of-center Assembly candidates maintain their leads

A group of people wave political signs on the sidewalk of a bust street.
Incumbent Assembly candidate Felix Rivera sign waves on Election Day, April 4, along with his supporters and supporters of Assembly candidate Anna Brawley. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)

A week after Anchorage’s mail-in municipal election, nearly all progressive and moderate Assembly candidates continue to hold comfortable leads over their challengers. 

City officials have counted about 60,000 of the 66,000 ballots they’ve received so far.

Zac Johnson, a moderate from South Anchorage, currently holds an six-point lead over his conservative challenger Rachel Ries. He said he’s not declaring victory just yet, but the results look promising.

“Certainly we want to wait until every vote’s counted to pop the champagne, but the results that we’re looking at feel very encouraging,” he said.

Johnson is poised to join three other new Assembly members who tend to support policies put forth by the body’s left-of-center majority. Progressive candidates Karen Bronga, George Martinez and Anna Brawley hold sizable leads over their more conservative opponents.

The two incumbents in the Assembly races also have strong leads: Felix Rivera and Chris Constant. Since Mayor Dave Bronson took office in 2021, the staunch conservative has often been at odds with the Assembly’s left-leaning majority. 

Constant, a North Anchorage Assembly member who currently leads challenger John Trueblood by more than 40 points, said he sees the election as a reflection of the public’s faith in the Assembly. 

“My hope is that the mayor gets the message that the community supports the Assembly,” Constant said. “And that his best approach is to figure out how to work with us, as opposed to constantly trying to oppose us.”

The sole conservative Assembly candidate who’s poised to win his race is Scott Myers, a realtor from Eagle River. He will take over the seat once held by Jamie Allard, a fervent conservative who began serving in the Legislature in January. The Assembly appointed Robin Dern, who is more liberal, to fill Allard’s seat temporarily.

Myers said he wasn’t surprised by the results of his Assembly race.

“Chugiak/Eagle River, District 2, is a conservative seat,” he said. “So the ballots, the way they’ve been counting, is really exactly what I expected.”

Myers said he is disappointed that his fellow conservative candidates didn’t have similar luck. He said progressive campaigns had a strong showing, in terms of money and backing from unions and other organizations. He didn’t see that level of campaign support from the other side. 

“It’s almost inappropriate in my opinion, and it’s probably going to get me in trouble for saying so, but the Alaska Republican Party took zero interest in this local race,” Myers said. 

With five new Assembly members set to take their seats soon, Constant said he’s hopeful that the group will inject new energy into the body. 

“I’m grateful that we have a bunch of fresh eyes coming onto the body,” Constant said. “And that will bring a sense of renewal and new energy and fresh perspective, and hopefully move us past some of the conflicts that have arisen that now just seem like conflicts for conflicts sake.”

The city clerk’s office is continuing to update the election results daily. The results are set to be certified on April 25.

This story has been updated to account for the most recent unofficial results, announced Tuesday night.

View all the results here.

a portrait of a man outside

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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