Bronson and LaFrance prepare for runoff in Anchorage mayoral election

A woman in a yellow puffy jacket holds a campaign sign for mayor.
Mayoral candidate Suzanne LaFrance stands with her supporters waving to Anchorage traffic on Tuesday. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

The top two candidates in Anchorage’s mayoral race say they’re preparing for a runoff election in May.

Initial results posted late Tuesday show Suzanne LaFrance with a slight lead over incumbent Mayor Dave Bronson. She has 36 percent of the vote to his 35 percent. There are still thousands of ballots left to be counted, but neither candidate is expected to push over the 45 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. 

In a phone interview, LaFrance said she was surprised, “in a good way,” about the initial batch of results. 

“We’ve been focused on winning this race and preparing for a runoff,” LaFrance said. “And so, to see clearly, early on, that we’re going to the runoff is really great.” 

The runoff election is currently set for May 14, with ballots mailed April 30. Whoever is elected will serve a three-year term as mayor. 

Bronson, only trailing LaFrance by roughly 600 votes, said his campaign is right where he wants it to be. 

“Right now, financially, we’re in a great position to run a campaign for the next four, five weeks,” Bronson said in a phone interview. “We’re very well prepared for that, because we knew we would need the money for a runoff.”

A man in a black puffy jacket stands outside waving a mayoral campaign sign
Incumbent Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and his supporters wave signs to passing traffic on Tuesday. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

The pitting of LaFrance and Bronson against each other isn’t anything new to either candidate. LaFrance represented South Anchorage on the Assembly for six years and was Assembly chair for two during Bronson’s term as mayor. LaFrance and Bronson often disagreed over policy, spending and general governance. The Assembly frequently overturned vetoes from the mayor under LaFrance’s tenure, and Bronson said the two are diametrically opposed.

“There couldn’t be a greater contrast between two candidates, me and Suzanne LaFrance,” Bronson said. “She is a member of this ‘woke’ worldview, and I’m more traditional.”

LaFrance has made good governance a pillar of her campaign, and said that’ll be her message to voters as she campaigns during the runoff. 

“My pitch is that we can get the basics right, and we can build a better future for everyone in our community,” LaFrance said.

So far, 44,896 ballots have been counted. That’s roughly 60 percent of the total ballots tallied during the city’s last mayoral election, in 2021. 

A man in a brown puffy jacket stands outside waving while holding a sign.
Anchorage mayoral candidate Bill Popp on Tuesday. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

LaFrance and Bronson faced sizable challenges from two other major candidates. 

After Tuesday’s results, former Anchorage Economic Development Corp. President Bill Popp had around 17 percent of the vote. He  said he’s hoping his share of the vote will increase as more ballots are counted.

“Seventeen percent is respectable for as late as I got in the race,” Popp said by phone Wednesday morning. “But in the same hand, we’re feeling like there was a pretty big surge, and I don’t think a lot of those voters have been counted yet.”

At this point, Popp said he isn’t conceding, but admits there’s a “big gap to overcome.” He said he isn’t yet lending support to either Bronson or LaFrance.

“I still want to be respectful of the people who voted for me and make sure that their votes are counted,” Popp said. “Where we clearly understand the decision we’re making based on a much more significant majority of the votes before I make a decision one way or the other.”  

a man with a sign that says Chris Tuck Mayor
Mayoral candidate Chris Tuck. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Meanwhile, former Anchorage legislator Chris Tuck had roughly 8 percent of the vote after Tuesday’s initial results. 

“I was hoping to have performed better,” Tuck said in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “But we did have a great team of people put together and, actually, we shared a lot of great ideas with other candidates, as well as the public.”

Tuck said his supporters came from “both sides” of the political spectrum, and at this point, he also isn’t endorsing either LaFrance or Bronson in the runoff. He said he’s letting his supporters decide who they’ll support, and he’ll be watching LaFrance and Bronson in the coming weeks, as well. 

“I kind of see that both of them are the ones that put us in the crisis mode here,” he said, criticizing Bronson and LaFrance’s recent tenures as city leaders. “I’m just going to watch and see who takes on the ideas, and who starts working more toward the spirit of togetherness as the next few weeks come by.” 

Check out the full results here.

Eagle River and Chugiak voters also chose to send Mark Littlefield to fill the remaining year on Kevin Cross’s Assembly seat. Cross announced in December that he’d resign from the seat, effective April 1. Littlefield, a retired city street maintenance official, was the only candidate to file for the vacancy.

Officials with the municipal clerk’s office say they’ll continue releasing election results every evening this week. They say Tuesday night’s tally includes the number of ballots received by mail, through a voting center or at a drop box by the end of the day Monday.


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

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