Anchorage waits for outcome of Midtown race

As often happens in Alaska, the final results of Tuesday's election are not yet known. In a nail-biter assembly race for the midtown seat, Dick Traini has a 3% lead over Andy Clary, who compared gays to drunks and cheaters. A ballot mix-up that was resolved on Wednesday narrowed Traini's lead to 147 votes, and the remaining absentee and questioned ballots won't be counted until next Friday.

For the east Anchorage seat, Paul Honeman has a 6% lead over conservative Adam Trombley. Matt Claman lost the west side to Ernie Hall by more than the number of questioned ballots. Honeman and Hall are moderates compared to the previous assembly members, but both support our community.

Debbie Ossiander and Jennifer Johnston were re-elected to the assembly as expected. Keli Booher earned a respectable 34% of the south side vote against Johnston.

If Honeman and Traini hold their leads, the new Assembly will be Honeman, Traini, Hall, Ossiander, Johnston, Drummond, Gray-Jackson, Flynn, Guttierez, Birch and Starr. That appears to be four conservatives, four progressives and three moderates.

In the school board races, incumbent Jeannie Mackie won Seat B, but James LaBelle and Tommy O'Malley split the progressive vote for Seat A, allowing ultra-conservative Don Smith to win. LaBelle received over 23% of the vote and O'Malley had over 26%, for a total of almost 50% of the vote going to the progressive candidates. Smith got only 41%. He is a far right conservative serving where the majority wanted a progressive. That could make his position harder to defend next time.

Smith is the only fringe member on the school board. The religious conservatives have tried repeatedly to push a far right church-based agenda into the public schools. When O'Malley entered the race after LaBelle, he opened the door for a split vote and Smith's win.

The land swap and the bonds passed, except for public transportation.

A big THANK YOU to those who voted! Every vote counts.

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