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Anchorage Votes: Here’s what to expect from the election in Anchorage

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 8:00 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - This election cycle is huge, crowded with candidates that will all face daunting tasks. The next mayor faces an ongoing economic crisis, reopening schools, the coronavirus pandemic, vocal critics of the citywide coronavirus shutdown and a shrinking population.

There are 15 candidates to become the next mayor of Anchorage, plus four open school board seats and 11 propositions on this year’s ballot including several bonds.

And, for some voters — District 4 — there’s the recall vote for Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera.

“This is a political hack job with a group of folks who are really upset with the Anchorage Assembly,” Rivera said when the recall was first announced.

Rivera has chaired numerous raucous assembly meetings where people shouted, and, at one point, carried tombstones with business names written on the front. Voters in Midtown will decide whether the grounds stated by recall proponents are enough cause to remove Rivera from office.

The petition claims Rivera failed to uphold his duty as chair by continuing an assembly meeting with more people present than COVID-19 emergency orders allowed.

Voting starts as soon as you receive your ballot in the mail and Election Day is April 6. Although the race is considered nonpartisan each candidate has staked our ground in the progressive and conservative corners.

Alaska’s News Source spoke to several people in Anchorage about what they hope the next mayor will accomplish.

“Help our economy, bring in business, just help Alaskans thrive,” said Jessica Thomas before ice skating at Westchester Lagoon.

“I love all the parks,” said Cordella Mendenhall-Smith.

Many people spoke about their love of the parks and wanting the trails to be safer.

“I love Westchester, my fiance actually proposed to me there when we were ice skating,” said Caitlin Marsteller.

Also, the mayoral race is crowded this year and one candidate will need to secure 45% of the vote, plus one to win. If that doesn’t happen, then the two candidates with the most votes advance to a runoff on May 11.

The new mayor takes office July 1. This person will also chose a new chief of police and a fire captain.

Alaska’s News Source will profile mayoral candidates including Mike Robbins, Bill Evans, Forrest Dunbar, Dave Bronson, George Martinez and Bill Falsey.

Falsey worked under former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz as the municipal manager.

Assembly member Forrest Dunbar previously ran, and lost, as a Democrat against Congressman Republican Don Young.

Bronson, a former U.S. Air Force and commercial pilot, is rallying a conservative base frustrated with coronavirus mandates that have impacted businesses in Anchorage.

Martinez was a Democratic U.S. congressional candidate in New York in 2012 and is a program director for the Alaska Humanities Forum. He also dabbles in hip-hop.

Evans is also a former Anchorage assembly member and attorney.

Mike Robbins is a businessman and Republican House District 26 chairman.

Alaska’s News Source will also highlight numerous school board profiles. These candidates are all actively campaigning, have a related website and are actively raising money.

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