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Run-off too close to call

Navarre leads; absentee ballots yet to be tallied

Posted: October 25, 2011 - 9:43pm  |  Updated: October 25, 2011 - 9:45pm
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Mike Navarre campaigns Tuesday morning at the corner of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Road.   M. Scott Moon
M. Scott Moon
Mike Navarre campaigns Tuesday morning at the corner of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Road.

Borough mayor candidates Mike Navarre and Fred Sturman will have to wait a few more days, and maybe as long as a week, before knowing for sure who will take the seat as the next Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor.

After Tuesday’s run-off election, Navarre leads Sturman in votes, but borough clerk Johni Blankenship said there are about 1,500 to 2,000 absentee and in-question ballots that still need to be counted.

“I wouldn’t call it,” Blankenship said.

Navarre took 3,923 votes, or 51.53 percent of the vote, which is just slightly more than Fred Sturman, who gathered 3,690 votes, or 48.47 percent.

Of the 41,067 registered voters, 7,640 cast a ballot Tuesday, which is a voter turnout of 18.6 percent, according to the borough.

Sturman won in the Sterling, Salamatof, Ninilchik, Nikiski, Kasilof, Funny River, Central and Anchor Point precincts.

Navarre won in the Tyonek, Soldotna, Seward, Seldovia, Moose Pass, Mackey Lake, Kenai, Kalifornsky Beach, Kachemak City/Fritz Creek, Kachemak Bay, Hope, Homer, Diamond Ridge, Cooper Landing and Bear Creek precincts.

Navarre said he was in a good position to take the race.

“I have been in a lot of campaigns and it is much better to be ahead at this point than behind,” he said. “Obviously it is too close to call and we have to see what happens with the absentee votes but I feel pretty good.”

Sturman said he had “no idea” how the final results would shake out.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said. 

Blankenship said a final tally would be available by Tuesday, when the borough is required to certify the election results.

Sturman said he knew it was going to be a tough fight.

“I kind of figured it was going to be a pretty dog gone tight race because he has been around in areas longer than I have and I knew he was strong in Seward and Kenai,” he said. “In the main cities he was a lot stronger than I was and I knew I had to get the outside communities and we pretty well got our own areas.”

Navarre agreed, but added that “quite frankly I didn’t think it would have been this close.”

“It was really tough to get a feel for it,” he said. “Part of it was just depending on the turnout and some areas had pretty good turnout and some areas had pretty bad turnout.”

Sturman and Navarre both agreed whatever the final result, they would both have a long conversation and share “campaign stories and what each thinks the direction the borough should go in is,” Navarre said.

“I just talked to Mike and we congratulated each other for running a good clean race and as soon as we get the signs all gathered up we’ll clean up in the next two or three days and we are going to sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about the race,” Sturman said.

Both candidates said they were impressed with the tenor of the campaign season.

“We talked during the course of the campaign and decided that whoever won we were going to sit down and talk with each other,” Navarre said, also thanking those who contributed to his campaign. “It was a good friendly campaign. No negative to it at all. I appreciate that and I know that Fred did too.”

Said Sturman, “We pretty well agree that however it come out we would work together and we would try and help each other to make this a better community.”

 

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kenai.peninsula.alaska
0
Points
kenai.peninsula.alaska 10/26/11 - 12:07 am
0
0
Navarre an arrogant politician

Mike “quite frankly I didn’t think it would have been this close” Navarre needs to lose this election for the simple fact we do not need his type of liberal leadership at the helm of our borough. Not only am I very disappointed with his comment to the paper but what the heck is wrong with the people of our borough.....18.6% voter turn out. That makes a little over 81% of registered voters pretty worthless and gives them no right to complain about anything Mr “quite frankly I didn’t think it would have been this close” Navarre does if he is elected. Come on people !!!!!!!!!

Kenai

http://kenaipeninsulaalaska.wordpress.com/

robert.dederick89@gmail.com
0
Points
robert.dederick89@gmail.com 10/26/11 - 01:04 am
0
0
Conservatives need to GET OUT AND VOTE!

I was just reading an article in the Clarion regarding the KPB mayoral run off election and it said ; “Of the 41,067 registered voters, 7,640 cast a ballot Tuesday, which is a voter turnout of 18.6 percent, according to the borough.”
I was just surprised at how 18.6% of the people (in this area) determine how 100% of the people are to be governed locally.
So 81.4% of the people CHOOSE to have no voice.
Had Conservatives got out to the polls and voted Fred Sturman would have won this election. Instead, once again you let the left take another election.The worst part about that is, I'm pretty sure the large majority of my generation are the ones who make the choice to not have a voice.
Appalling.......

don't label me
0
Points
don't label me 10/26/11 - 06:05 am
0
0
Not Just Conservatives Voted for Fred

Why do people have to label each other? I am not a conservative yet I voted for Fred. I have different views on different issues. Please don't put yourself in a box with a label on it. Think outside the box.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 10/26/11 - 06:57 am
0
0
Voter Apathy 10/26/11

Wed. 10/26/11
Well the terrible Voter Turn Out in No Surprize to Me !
Just ask the Election Volunteers, they Jump for Joy IF they get a 20% Voter Turn out.

& Yes My Fellow Alaskans , that means that 80% of Peninsula Registered Voters Simply Don't Care & Do NOT Vote.

Therefore my most radical idea of with holding the Permanent Fund Dividend from those that Don't Vote. No Vote No Dividend.
That's What It would take to get these Alaskans to Vote.
Keep It Simple

IF You are a AMERICAN then YOU WILL VOTE

SPW "Airborne"

Norseman
3616
Points
Norseman 10/26/11 - 07:04 am
0
0
apathy

Voter apathy is real and thriving on the Kenai Peninsula.

Either that, or we have 50% of registered voters living outside during the fall and winter.

This means that every time I hear someone bitchin and moaning about our local affairs, I can tell 8 out of 10 people to shut their piehole cause they didn't bother to vote.

Next election I guess I'll volunteeer to drive these lazy apathetic voters to the polls.

soldotna
50
Points
soldotna 10/26/11 - 07:36 am
0
0
"lazy apathetic voters"

"Next election I guess I'll volunteeer to drive these lazy apathetic voters to the polls"

I agree 100% that everyone should vote. However out of that 18ish% that voted and if you take out the employes that work at the building where the voting takes place and also the volunteers that are basically automatic votes the true turn out is very very sad and more then likely less then 15%.

Instead of calling people names why don't we make voting more accessible and try and solve the issue. Why not use some of the school buses or something along those lines and for the day turn them into portable voting booths. Yes you would have to get both candidates to agree where the buses would stop in all fairness.

Don't you think though in the idea of getting people involved that there are a lot of people that would vote if the voting booth would turn up at their work place, neighborhood or Old folks home.

firefly
0
Points
firefly 10/26/11 - 08:38 am
0
0
Providing bussing??

If there were a giveaway of free Christmas gifts, would people find a way to get there? If HEA were giving away a month of electricity to anyone that came to a specific place between the hours of 7am and 8pm, would people find a way to get there? YOU BET THEY WOULD! We have so many polling places, as well as early AND absentee that to suggest we should also pay to bus people is absurd.

As for conservatives voting for Fred? I am a conservative but did NOT vote for Fred.

cheapersmokes
1262
Points
cheapersmokes 10/26/11 - 08:57 am
0
0
voting

Minnesota gives everyone who votes a 2 inch round "I voted" sticker to put on their shirt or coat and I cannot recall the last election we didn't hit at least 70% of all eligible voters turning out to voice their preference, When Jesse Ventura ran and won the Governorship most of the polling places had to make an emergency run to xerox more ballots before they ran out due to the hordes of new and first time voters showing up to vote. 20% is sure not much of a mandate saying the people really want you in office.

RaySouthwell
1155
Points
RaySouthwell 10/26/11 - 09:15 am
0
0
Unfortunate Commentary

18% turn out does not surprise me. People have given up on the political process.

People are angry at politicians. They say one thing and do another. People are too busy to vote, with work and all.

People focus on what they feel they have control of. If they felt a possibility for change, they would have prioritized voting at the top of their list, of things to do yesterday.

I don’t think it even made it to the bottom of their priority list yesterday.

Apathy is an unfortunate commentary of where we are as a nation.

Allen
654
Points
Allen 10/26/11 - 11:16 am
0
0
Whoever Wins, There's A Message

No matter who wins, the voters are sending a message that they are fed up with business as usual. Now is someone listening?

steelhorse
48
Points
steelhorse 10/26/11 - 11:45 am
0
0
I do like Fred...

but it was more about voting -against- Mike than voting for Fred for me.

I'm tired of the status quo and it's just pathetic how the other non voters left the responsibility up to the rest of us to try to change and shape our government.

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 10/26/11 - 01:44 pm
0
0
I agree that Mike Navarre's

I agree that Mike Navarre's comment of "quite frankly I didn’t think it would have been this close" sounds arrogant, but I don't think he meant it that way. After reading further, it sounds like Navarre and Sturman have a pretty amicable relationship. He probably meant he just didn't think a run-off election would produce such a close-call (especially when there was a clear lead in the initial election). It doesn't seem like he actually meant, "I can't believe anyone would come close to beating ME." He should have watched his word choice.

As for voter turnout, I have to say that the voting location was not well advertised in my area (no roadside signs) and I had to ask around to find it. Also, the "I voted" stickers are TINY this year. They used to be huge, so you'd be reminded to vote every time you saw someone wearing one. Bring back the huge ones! And put signs on the major highways pointing out where to vote. (No wonder there were so many question ballots; I almost voted in another precinct just because it was easier to find.)

talkofthekenai16
0
Points
talkofthekenai16 10/26/11 - 02:10 pm
0
0
Vote Turnout

Kudos to the people who voted, it is quite obvious that the 18.6% that voted for their choice took the time out to vote, believe in the democratic system of government. For the 81.4% who did not vote, you really have no reason to complain about the borough government. Depending on which candidate worked the hardest on the absentee voters, we will have a new mayor. Things the new mayor should look at is the option of the registered voter be given a choice of voting like normal or having the option to receive the ballot in the mail. works quite well in other states. Another option would be to have the election voting on a Saturday. Just some ideas to think about.

robert.dederick89@gmail.com
0
Points
robert.dederick89@gmail.com 10/26/11 - 02:33 pm
0
0
Deterring people from voting

Does anyone else think that by constantly changing the locations of the polls and making them way the heck out on funny river road is really just a scheme to stop people from voting? It’s a pain to drive way out there.
The people who live out on funny river road I’m sure have to drive to town at least once a day for work etc... Yet people who rarely ever get out that way have to get out there to vote.
Its a bunch of Malarkey .

firefly
0
Points
firefly 10/26/11 - 04:25 pm
0
0
re: Deterring people from voting...

You can always go to the borough building to vote. It was even open over the weekend for voters. It makes it much easier than looking for your polling place or going out of your way to get there, and you have a much broader time frame. Just a suggestion.

SpartanGunner
44
Points
SpartanGunner 10/26/11 - 05:02 pm
0
0
Inducements to vote...really?

Giving inducements in exchange for votes is illegal. (ie. Boss Tweed, Detroit Elections...ect)

Jesse Ventura and President Obama are perfect examples of high voter turn out yielding unsavory results...

Leaders should be elected by an informed electorate that cares enough to participate in the process. The Founding Fathers wanted it that way.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 10/26/11 - 05:19 pm
0
0
Spartan Gunner ? 10/26/11

Wed. 10/26/11
Spartan Gunner ? Any chance that YOU serve with the
4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division
"The Spartans"
Please reply when Time permits SPW "Airborne"

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 10/26/11 - 09:29 pm
0
0
I agree with Spartan

I agree with Spartan Gunner.

Why would you want to force people to vote? People who don't take the time to vote probably don't take the time to learn about the issues. So they're going to vote randomly. Maybe they'll pick the coolest-sounding name, or whichever candidate had the most signs, or ini-mini-miny-moe. An uninformed vote is worthless, and if induced, may very well outnumber the informed votes. Then you really wouldn't get a desirable result.

I don't vote on American Idol or Dancing with the Stars, because I don't watch them, and I have the courtesy to let those who care about it determine the outcome. Voting without any knowledge or interest just interferes with real votes that are based on knowledge and conviction. I don't want my choice to be canceled out by an ini-mini-miny-moe vote that someone made because it suddenly became a prerequisite for dividends!

cheapersmokes
1262
Points
cheapersmokes 10/27/11 - 07:57 am
0
0
Re: Spartangunner

I will have you know that unlike NObama, Jesse Ventura did a super job as Governor of Minnesota. He spent around $320,000 on his whole campaign and the two major party candidates spent over 7.5 million each. Every year our government had a surplus he gave the money back to the taxpayers. He never met with a single lobbyist and if a bill would only benefit the Doctors, Lawyers or the wealthy then he would veto it, The legislature was so wrapped up in making the state in debt, over his veto's, that run he didn't run for a second term and shortly after all of his predictions came true and the state is still trying to deal with a 6,000,000,000 dollar budget shortfall. He called me and told me he wasn't going to run since his wife said since she was the First Lady she shouldn't have to give him any more "mouth hugs!" :-)

The only thing that could be said about him was that a bill had a much better chance of passing if it would help him. The state cut all license plate fees down to $35 from up to $350 each and also cancelled property taxes on second homes or cabins, The taxes on motorcycles, jet ski's and snowmobiles were also cut way down. Jesse always told the truth and never tried to sugar coat it. Imagine a current politician doing that. Jessie's election was due to his charisma and his ability to make the people see what you get with the major parties. They had about 7 televised debates and the other candidates were always saying, "I agree with Jesse!"

He went on a statewide motor coach tour and one of his stops was at my house were we held the first live internet chat, non moderated, with a candidate for state wide office the night before the election. I posted two signs in business places and called a few people and we had over 500 people waiting outside when he came out. I donated $1,111.11 to his campaign and was the 6th largest donor. Most of his money came for selling T-shirts at the Minnesota State Fair for $50 which said, "Retaliate in 98!" The people got their money back from the state if they filed a form. The last governor cancelled due to the Reform Party getting the majority of the money from it.

soldotna
50
Points
soldotna 10/27/11 - 12:18 pm
0
0
I think if Fred wins or not

The message is pretty clear that people are getting tired of politicians in politics.

Alaska_Smack49
0
Points
Alaska_Smack49 10/27/11 - 02:46 pm
0
0
The Sucker Voter... " We the People"

So, many of you seemed so shocked by the low voter turnout!!!!! REALLY, we got sucked into this way of voting “PEOPLE”. Oh’ that’s right!! You all forgot what we voted on over 15 years ago. Well, let me remind all you forgetful Voters. Here it is in a nut shell, OK!!! WE voted in the 50 percent plus 1 vote Rule!!! Remember now!!! What that has caused us is if no opponent gets 50 % and plus 1 vote in the General Election. Then we have a runoff election. 1st Question is: Who pays for this? We do!!!! 2nd Question is: Does this make it easier for a Minority of Voters to influence the Majority of Voters? “YES”!!! The Politicians all knew way back then that runoff elections had a lower voter turnout that the General Election. So they all got together and made this “BIG, BIG DEAL” about the need for majority Approval. This was sold to us as giving us “MAJORITY RULE” in lammings terms it allowed them to Cook the Elections with a lower voter turnout!! So that is why you all need to just …”SHUT UP “… and understand the “POLITICAINS”…” WON”… by suckering us into a Lame duck Election.. So for the 18.6 percent that understands the “POLICTICAL GAME”.. And got your Vote Out. YEA!!! For the 81.4% of you that are mad … “SHUT UP”… remembers this you’ve been “RUMPLESTINKENED” … So always remember to read the fine print.

frankgwartney
0
Points
frankgwartney 10/27/11 - 04:10 pm
0
0
Navarre comment

I disagree that an honestly stated opinion be considered arrogant. I voted for Mike because of his honesty and integrity -I dont know Fred that well.
(I also don't see how "conservative/liberal" labeling can be helpful in electing competent leadership. The Mayors role is to make practical decisions for everyones long term interest not just that of narrow interest groups).

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 10/27/11 - 04:59 pm
0
0
Turnout is one thing

Of those 7600 voters, how many are truly informed on the issues or the candidates? If 20% of those (frankly that is quite generous) are educated on the issues that face our borough, that means 1520 actually made a logical vote. PATHETIC!!!

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 10/27/11 - 10:01 pm
0
0
@ cheapersmokes: Minnesota voter turnout

cheapersmokes said: "I cannot recall the last election we didn't hit at least 70% of all eligible voters turning out to voice their preference."
In Primary elections (non presidential) the average voter turnout in Minnesota from 1950 to 2006 averaged 21.8%. General elections average 59.2%. Presidential primaries faired a bit better... 27.2%
The Primary Election in 2010 had a voter turnout statewide of 15.96%.
My source of information is: The Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie. http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=667
If you go to the bottom of this page it will give you a breakdown of all election voter turnout from 1950 to 2010.
Just a little memory refresher for you!

Norseman
3616
Points
Norseman 10/28/11 - 06:57 am
0
0
homesick

I think cheapersmokes is just severly homesick. His last half a dozen posts have all been centered on how they do things in MN.

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 10/28/11 - 01:55 pm
0
0
Importance of run-off elections

Alaska_Smack, you bring up a clear disadvantage about run-off elections. Having a primary election usually addresses this problem, by designating one candidate for each party before the General Election. However, the party system doesn't really apply to local elections, so it does end up coming down to a run-off election.

Here's the problem with scrapping the majority rule. Perhaps candidates A and B are on the same page, and 60% of voters approve. Candidate C has the opposite approach to politics, and 40% of voters support him. Well, maybe 30% of voters choose Mr. A, because he sponsored a popular ballot initiative last election, and 30% of people chose Mr. B, because he implemented a popular project, but they'd all be happy with either candidate. But Mr. C wins the election, because there were too many candidates splitting the majority between them, and then they get a candidate that 60% definitely didn't want. It's important to get a majority vote, so you don't get a wildcard in there, that won simply because there were fewer candidates competing with his views (because they were unpopular views).

cheapersmokes
1262
Points
cheapersmokes 10/28/11 - 04:33 pm
0
0
Kenai_Kid

I was speaking at a general election for the Governor or a President not a primary or lessor election. It is always between Maine and Minnesota to see which state will lead the nation in voter turnout. The Primary elections you have to vote for a whole party line or it is tossed out.

Citizen17
21
Points
Citizen17 10/28/11 - 04:37 pm
0
0
Elections and voter turn out.

Yes, voter turn out is low. How do we solve this issue? With all due respect, giving out an "I voted" sticker is something for grade schools.....like giving out gold stars for turning in a neat paper. I refuse those stickers. I also refuse most candidates, but they still seem to get in. I vote "NO" on the judges, but they still get in. Most people I know claim to vote "NO" on the judges, also. So how do they keep their positions? Does anyone out there think that our "elections" are rigged, predetermined, or otherwise crooked??? Perhaps our "votes" are not really being counted as marked? Do you trust our governments and our system? Have you ever been lied to by a candidate and/or a politician? How far does the deception go? Rewarding people for voting has already been tried........perhaps that's how Obama was elected.

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 10/28/11 - 05:22 pm
0
0
@cheapersmokes

Is any one election less important than another when it comes to governing the people? Your implication was that the dismal turnout for this election should be compared to Minnesota's regular turnout. You are correct in the fact that Maine and Minnesota lead in voter turn out for gubernatorial and presidential general elections. However, those states are average in selecting the two candidates in a primary which is every bit as important as a general election.
One in five, one in four or even one in three is a dismal turnout. 50% is sad. What is even sadder is even though some states have a 70% voter turnout of those registered, an average of 40% of eligible voters don't register. Minnesota and Maine have more liberla registration laws than most any other state and I agree with those laws.
But, even with the more liberal voter registration laws, Alaska trailed Minnestota in 2008 by only 4.4% of total registered voters and 8% voter turnout. Considering Alaska has a higher number of transient workers than Minnesota, I think we did ok by comparison.
Since this was not a gubernatorial or presidential general election, all things considered we are equally dismal in voter turnout and probably equally dismal in voter knowledge as Minnesota. So your generalization about the turnout in this runoff was irrelevant when compared to Minnesota.
Source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2008/tables.html

Alaska_Smack49
0
Points
Alaska_Smack49 10/28/11 - 06:23 pm
0
0
RE: Importance of Run-Off Elections

So Basically what your saying is, If Mr. A & Mr. B are simular then we should discount Mr. C because he has a different opion. Right!!!! Well Mr. Want it My Way. That's why we call it an Election. The old system is not a POLITICAL RIGGED Election. Because the More registered voter's that vote in the General are heard. Not the Minority ie: LOWER VOTER TURN OUT; "Majority minorityVoters" disinfrachise, the moral right of voters. That's why the current system Fails, Because it has lead to the minority Voters, BASHING the Majority. SO why are you so scared of the way our fore Father's system!!! Is it because you want to rigg elections so it harms the Higher percentage of voter as you put it we the people can not make a proper decision. Tell the Truth it helps rigg elections and helps Politicians raise more money, seek more clout, causes us the people to have to pay for two elections. So I say for those who say enough whining about rigged elections and let's put the voter back into control of true elections. NOT RIGGED REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT, cry babies.

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