Suzanne LaFrance declares victory in Anchorage mayor’s race

A woman with a microphone stands during a debate
Mayoral candidate Suzanne LaFrance stands for her closing statements during a debate held at the Petroleum Club of Anchorage on April 29, 2024. On Tuesday, LaFrance declared victory in the election. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Suzanne LaFrance declared victory in Anchorage’s mayoral race on Tuesday, one week after voting ended in the runoff election

LaFrance, a former chair of the Anchorage Assembly, said there’s a lot of work ahead to build her administration. 

“But I am committed to building the best team possible,” she said in an interview on Tuesday. “And not based on partisanship, but based on having folks, again, who are competent, ethical and passionate about our community.”

On election night, partial, unofficial results had LaFrance leading incumbent Mayor Dave Bronson by 4,973 votes, or nearly 10%. Through Friday, more than 27,000 additional ballots had been added to the unofficial tally. 

LaFrance’s lead narrowed to 7%, though in total votes widened to 5,487. There aren’t enough uncounted ballots to change the outcome of the race.

LaFrance is the city’s first elected female mayor. 

With so many vacancies in city government, she said staffing up is key. She plans to have a lot of conversations to figure out who to keep on and who to bring in. 

“Local government isn’t about left or right,” LaFrance said. “It’s about working together to get things done. And that’s not a campaign slogan, but it’s how I think about the job of mayor. And it’s going to take all of us working together to take on the big challenges in front of us.”

Bronson’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As of Tuesday afternoon, LaFrance said she had not heard from the Bronson camp with a concession or otherwise, but is looking forward to a productive transition for Anchorage. 

Next week, the Anchorage Election Commission is scheduled to decide which challenged ballots will count or not, clearing the way for the Anchorage Assembly to certify the election results at a special meeting on May 31. 

LaFrance is expected to take office on July 1, leaving about six weeks to work out the transition. 

The last time the mayor’s office turned over in 2021, city officials forgot to budget for a transition process. When the Alaska Landmine brought it to light, the Assembly set aside $60,000 for the incoming mayor’s transition team. 

Transition funding hasn’t been budgeted yet this time, either. Anna Brawley co-chairs the Assembly’s Budget and Finance Committee and she said those resources are important to help an incoming mayor hit the ground running. 

“It is something that we have on our radar, but we did not opt to do that during the budgeting process, partly because, of course, there were plenty of other issues we had to deal with, and make sure the budget is all accurate,” she said. 

And, Brawley said, Bronson could have won his reelection. Brawley said the Assembly is likely to address transition funding at its May 31 meeting.

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him at or 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremy here.

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