Republicans suffer losses in blue wave of Anchorage Assembly victories

3 of the 12 Anchorage Assembly candidates identify as conservative
Republicans suffer losses in blue wave of Anchorage Assembly victories
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 10:36 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Voters elected seven new members to the Anchorage Assembly in April, and the new crowd represents a further shift to the left of the political spectrum.

Seats on the Anchorage Assembly are nonpartisan, although nearly every Assembly member identifies with a political party or at least has political leanings.

After the most recent election cycle, nearly every candidate who identifies as conservative or Republican lost. Scott Myers was the lone Republican Assembly candidate who won this year.

Randy Sulte represents South Anchorage and Girdwood on the Anchorage Assembly. He’s one of three current Assembly members who identifies as conservative.

Sulte thinks if voter turnout was higher, there would have been more conservative candidates elected this year. Sulte said the Democratic party is much more organized in Assembly elections than the Republicans.

“They’re a bit disorganized,” Sulte said. “I know on the Democratic side, they’re very well organized. They have Ship Creek (Group) and I believe the Alaska Center behind them that help organize things behind the scene, pick candidates out early, vet those candidates, and I don’t see the same on the Republican side. The Republican side iss more focused on state, House, and national elections versus local elections.”

Michelle Turner, who is president of the group Anchorage Democrats, echoes Sulte’s words.

“The Anchorage Democrats and Alaskan Democratic Party had a multi-(level) campaign for ‘get out to vote’ and there were also groups that did other things to support these candidates,” Turner said. “For example, Alaska March On completed over 5,000 hand-written postcards and sent them to low propensity voters.”

Sulte said he’s disappointed there’s a political imbalance on the Assembly, although he’s optimistic the three Assembly members who identify as conservative will effectively represent their constituents.