Borough election

Early election results are rolling in from the Mat-Su Borough. To see the updated results posted by the Mat-Su Borough, click https://www.matsugov.us/documents/Elections/Results.pdf?fbclid=IwAR20VbGSJIxOpN6pNCcJL0sqfojWih39r-WAngSRQg5RWYvg5uyBYzplQvw

Mat-Su Borough staff confirmed that the set of results posted before 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday night will be the last update until the meeting of the canvas board. With the remaining number of absentee and questioned ballots left to be counted by the Canvas Board, the only candidate that has secured victory on election night is Jeff Taylor, who ran unopposed for Donna Dearman's District 7 seat on the Mat-Su Borough School Board. 

The closest of all the races that are still too close to be called, Brian Endle holds a two-vote lead over Tim Hale for Jim Sykes' seat on the Assembly in District 1. The four-way race also included Bruce Bush, who was the first candidate to drop out of the race and received 111 votes. Ryan Miller dropped out of the race just two weeks ago and received 21 votes. A total of six write-in votes were cast in District 1.

The Canvas Board met on Wednesday to verify the election results and begin the ballot accountability. The process to review the remaining 860 ballots will take place over the next couple of days. A total of 686 absentee, 164 and 10 special needs ballots were requested. On Thursday, Absentee ballots will be reviewed and Questioned ballots on Friday. After the Canvas Board has reviewed absentee, questioned and special needs ballots, the Review Board will count the ballots deemed acceptable by the canvas board. At that time, the final tallies for each candidate will be announced, but the election will not be certified until the Assembly meeting on November 19. 

Stephanie Nowers is also leading a four-way race for Assembly District 2. With 610 votes, Nowers has a 99 vote lead over LaMarr Anderson with 511 votes in the race to replace outgoing Deputy Mayor Matthew Beck. Both candidates who dropped out of the race also received votes. Elizabeth Maxson received 72 votes and Faunus Doney received 33 votes with 10 write-in votes cast in District 2.

A total of 860 ballots stand to be counted in the coming days that have the possibility to effect the outcome of each race except for Taylor's school board seat. With Brian Endle maintaining a two vote lead in Assembly District 1, Tim Hale would need 181 of the remaining 359 absentee, questioned and special needs ballots cast in District 1 to overcome Endle and win the seat on the Assembly. Endle needs only 180 of the remaining votes. With a 99-vote lead in Assembly District 2, LaMarr Anderson would need 155 of the remaining 253 absentee, questioned, and special needs ballots in District 2. Facing nearly insurmountable odds, Anderson was disappointed not to have come out on top, but thankful that he learned along the campaign trail. 

"She did very well throughout the district and I wish her the very best and I’m not looking and dreaming or thinking that there’s still a chance. I think it’s a finished campaign," Anderson said. "Stephanie will do an excellent job in representing the best interests of the borough so I have nothing but goodwill and best wishes for her." 

Nowers had never run for office before, but went back to meeting with people about Borough issues on Thursday. 

"It’s been a wonderful experience being out talking to folks and I really found that there’s so much more common ground out here with folks than divides us," Nowers said. "We have a great place we’re living in and for now our economy is doing well and that they want to see us protect that and keep that economy going and keep that feel, that small town feel of the Valley that we all love and also that sense of freedom we have out here." 

If Nowers' lead holds through the post election day ballot counting process, she will offer the unique perspective sitting on the Assembly, having worked for 15 years as a journalist in the Valley. 

"When you’re an observer you can appreciate that process that it goes through and I think that may be something that I bring to the table is just an understanding of how those meetings go and sometimes issues are very emotional and to actually listen to what the persona is saying and not get defensive about it  and understand and try to find common ground," Nowers said.  

Out of 47,323 registered voters in Districts 1, 2, 5 and 7, only 4,248 showed up at the polls on Tuesday for 8.98 percent voter turnout. A total of 686 absentee and 164 questioned ballots remain to be counted by the Canvas Board which may sway any one of the races except for Taylor's School Board seat. 

The Mat-Su Borough School District School Board held elections for three seats. Jim Hart is leading current District 2 School Board Member Ray Michaelson by 26 votes with 11 write-in votes cast. Hart received 600 votes, the highest tally of any candidate for School Board. Michaelson received 574. Current District 5 School Board member Ryan Ponder is leading Alma hartley by 113 votes with six write-in votes cast. Jeff Taylor received 359 votes for outgoing School Board President Dr. Donna Dearman’s seat in District 7. 

With 115 absentee, questioned and special needs ballots in District 5, Hartley would need all 115 of the ballots to be cast for her to overtake Ponder's lead. Michaelson would need 140 absentee, questioned and special needs ballots cast in his favor to overtake Hart's lead. 

Continue to see frontiersman.com throughout the evening for full coverage of the 2019 borough election.

Contact the Frontiersman at news@frontiersman.com.

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