Demboski wins seat on Assembly

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 19:00
Unofficial count points to victory
Amy Demboski, left, gives a passerby a thumbs-up as Tanya White waves on Tuesday, April 2 on Eagle River Loop Road. Demboski was the unofficial winner for Eagle River’s Seat A on the Anchorage Assembly, defeating challengers Pete Mulcahy and Bob Lupo.

Amy Demboski will likely be Chugiak-Eagle River’s next Anchorage Assemblywoman.

With all but early and absentee votes counted early Wednesday, April 3, Demboski unofficially led Pete Mulcahy by 348 votes.

Though happy, Demboski said Tuesday night she isn’t celebrating until every vote is counted and the results are official.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” she said. “But it’s looking good.”

Early polling on Election Day favored Demboski, she said, but nothing is certain.

“The only poll that counts is election night,” she said.

A paralegal who sits on the city’s budget advisory commission and is president of the Chugiak Community Council, Demboski said the community was receptive during her campaign.

“People were excited about a new, fresh voice,” she said.

Demboski, endorsed by Mayor Dan Sullivan, will replace Chugiak’s Debbie Ossiander, who served three terms on the Assembly.

Ossiander supported Mulcahy, a former post commander on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Ossiander is replacing Mulcahy on the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department Board of Supervisors.

With just early and absentee votes left to be counted, Demboski received 2,856 votes to Mulcahy’s 2,508.

Also in the running for District 2 was Eagle River’s Bob Lupo, who got less than five percent of the vote.

In other Assembly races, Ernie Hall held a slim lead over Nick Moe, who launched a write-in campaign against the Assembly chairman. Tim Steele was in firm control of the race for a West Anchorage seat.

Dick Traini should hold onto his Midtown seat, as he led Andy Clary by nearly 1,000 votes Wednesday morning. Paul Honeman (East Anchorage) and Jennifer Johnston (South Anchorage) ran unopposed.

Former state senator Bettye Davis was in firm control to seize one of two open School Board seats. She led Don Smith by more than 3,000 votes.

With nearly 60 percent of the vote, Eric Croft had a sizeable lead for the other School Board seat.

Six of seven ballot initiatives appeared on their way to passage. Only Proposition 7 — which would permit the Assembly to annex or de-annex property from a road service area without a majority vote — is the lone initiative going down to defeat. More than 65 percent of the votes were against Prop 7.

The Chugiak/Birchwood/Eagle River Rural Road Service Area Board had several questions about Proposition 2, a $2.6 million general obligation bond. The Road Board’s main concern is regarding $200,000 slated for bridge and dam rehabilitation and whether or not it would result in double taxation for local residents. Nearly 63 percent of the votes tallied were in favor of Prop 2.

Nearly $55 million in bonds for educational capital improvements and planning and design projects had nearly 58 percent in favor.

Turnout was poor throughout the Municipality — less than 18 percent of registered voters cast a ballot before questioned, early and absentee votes were taken into account. The trend was the same in Chugiak-Eagle River.

“If there is no headline issue or candidate, turnout is low,” said Cathy Ward, who’s worked elections for 15 years.

Only about 10 percent of registered voters had visited the polls at Eagle River Elementary by late afternoon Tuesday, April 2, Ward said.

“Usually, I’m a lot busier,” she said.

At Fire Lake Elementary, just 163 residents voted out 1,713 registered voters — less than 10 percent — as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Most were older citizens and not one of the 163 was a first-timer voter, said Jane Kurth, co-chair of elections.

“The voters seem to be pretty mellow,” she said.

Just 11 percent of registered voters cast a ballot at Gruening Middle School with less than four hours before the polls closed. That is much lower than the 30 percent turnout chair of elections Steven Worthington had hoped for.

“This is pretty low,” he said.

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