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Bronson declares mayoral runoff victory, Dunbar concedes

Dave Bronson is running for mayor of Anchorage in this year's municipal election.
Dave Bronson is running for mayor of Anchorage in this year's municipal election.(Dave Bronson's campaign team)
Published: May. 21, 2021 at 8:27 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 8:45 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - With Dave Bronson still in the lead as the Anchorage mayoral runoff race draws to a close, he has declared victory in the race and candidate Forrest Dunbar has conceded.

In a post to his campaign Facebook page Friday night, Dunbar, a member of the Anchorage Assembly, thanked his team and supporters.

“With today’s results released, and the public session of canvas nearly complete, it is clear that Dave Bronson will be Anchorage’s next Mayor,” Dunbar wrote.

In the concession, Dunbar noted the high voter turnout and said the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the “intense feelings” they elicited, helped drive that turnout.

Bronson also took to Facebook Friday night to declare victory.

“Tonight’s numbers solidify our lead in this race,” he wrote. “I am extremely humbled by the people of Anchorage and their decision to elect me as Mayor. This was a hard fought battle and I know that there are some in Anchorage who did not vote for me.”

Bronson wrote that as mayor, he plans to work to bring Anchorage residents “back together” to make the city “more vibrant than ever.” He also thanked his supporters and campaign staff.

🔵🟡Tonight's numbers solidify our lead in this race. I am extremely humbled by the people of Anchorage and their decision...

Posted by Dave Bronson for Mayor on Friday, May 21, 2021

“From the beginning this campaign was a voice for the people,” Bronson wrote. “We had hundreds of volunteers who wanted to see this city go in a new direction and now I can confidently tell them we are headed that way.”

Dunbar’s concession noted that Bronson, a retired commercial and military pilot, will have several opportunities and challenges when he takes office. He will have to work with the current Anchorage Assembly, which Dunbar serves on, and has the opportunity to shape city departments through retaining or appointing department heads.

“Will he tackle our looming homelessness challenge at the Sullivan Arena as our FEMA funds come to an end, or will he pursue the approach he espoused on the campaign trail...?” Dunbar wrote.

Dunbar said he will continue to serve on the assembly.

“There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done,” he wrote. “My colleagues and I will not stop doing the detailed, nonpartisan, community-centric work that constitutes the bulk of what we do at the Municipality. We will seek always to deliver core public services to the people of Anchorage, with an eye towards quality of life, public safety, and the future of Anchorage.”

“Mr. Bronson now has a unique opportunity to join in that work, entrusted with one of the most important positions in all of Alaska,” the post continues. “Most of Anchorage will be hoping that unity can be found, extremism can be rejected, and facts and truth will guide our decision making.”

Preliminary runoff election results updated Friday show Bronson still in the lead as the election comes to an end. He is ahead by 1,191 votes, and Friday was the last day for regular mail-in ballots to arrive at the city’s election center.

The Anchorage Election Commission is set to approve their report on the election results Friday night. That report will then go to the assembly, which is scheduled to certify the results on May 25. Ballots mailed from overseas have until May 25 to arrive and be counted,

Bronson will be sworn in on July 1.

In his statement, Bronson also thanked Dunbar and his campaign.

“We had a lot of important conversations throughout this election and I look forward to continuing to have them,” Bronson wrote.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with information and quotes from the Dave Bronson campaign.

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