Assembly, School Board, Kenai, Soldotna candidates joust for open seats

Local races set

The filing period for the Kenai Peninsula Borough municipal election closed Wednesday, with a number of candidates tossing their hats in the ring for borough-wide and city council seats. 


Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly

Seven candidates will run for four open seats on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in District 1-Kalifornsky, District 2-Kenai, District 6-East Peninsula and District 9-South Peninsula.

All seats are for one, three-year term, except for the Kenai district, which is a two-year seat.

* Sue McClure is also running unopposed for the East Peninsula seat she has held since 2009. McClure is a retired chemistry and science teacher and has served on the Seward Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission.

Two candidates will compete for the Kenai district seat.

* Hal Smalley has served on the assembly since 2008, served as a state representative from 1999 to 2001 and is a former Kenai City Council member and retired educator.

* Christine Hutchison is a 40-year resident of Alaska and a field operations assistant. She has served as a paralegal and executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Anchorage

Two candidates will compete for the open South Peninsula seat.

Mako Haggerty has served on the assembly for three years. Haggerty is a commercial fisherman, salmon tender and water taxi operator.

Jesse Clutts is the manager and owner of the Anchor River Inn. He has served on the Anchor Point Advisory Planning commission, currently sits on the Economic Development District board and has served as president of the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce.

Two candidates have filed for the open Kalifornsky seat left vacant by current assembly president Gary Knopp. 

* Kelly Wolf served as a state representative from 2003 to 2005 and held a seat on the Kenai and Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee. He is a program coordinator for a youth restoration corps, a contractor and carpenter.

Michael Winegarden is a realtor and owner of the Floor Center. He has served on the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association and currently serves on the Kenai Peninsula Realtors Association.

Kenai City Council

Three candidates will run for two open seats on the Kenai City Council. 

The seats are for a three year term, expiring in 2015.

Ryan Marquis has served one term in council and a year as the vice-mayor. He has been a lived in Alaska his entire life and shares two children with his wife, Jan.

Robert Molloy, a 30-year resident of Kenai and small-business owner, has served as council member for two terms. He has also served on the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission and is an attorney for Molloy Schmidt LLC. In 1980 he received his J.D. from Boston University Law School. 

James Rowell is facilities compliance manager for Frontier Community Services and also serves as president and CEO of Alaska Logistics Group. He moved to the city in 2005 from Georgia, and since 2011 has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission.


Soldotna City Council

Three candidates will run unopposed for three open seats. Two of the positions are three-year terms and one is a partial term ending in October 2013. 

* John Czarnezki is running for a three-year term on seat A. He was previously appointed to seat E on the council in July and served as the City of Soldotna Planning Commissioner for seven years.

* Dale Bagley is running for a three-year term on seat C. He is currently on the council in seat C, served for six years as Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor and for three years on the borough assembly.

Nancy R. Eoff is running for a one year term on seat E. She currently serves on the city’s airport commission and previously on the memorial park board. 


Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board

Each of the four Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board seats are for three year terms.

* Tim Navarre is running unopposed for the school board District 2 position in Kenai. He is a current city council member in Kenai, has served as the chief of staff for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and has been on the borough assembly. 

* Marty T. Anderson is running unopposed for the school board District 5 position in Sterling/Funny River. He is running for his fourth term as the area’s school board representative and is the current president of Alaska Technical Training. 

* Mike Illg is running for the school board District 8 position in Homer. He is a certified parks and recreation professional through the National Parks & Recreation Association Service Organization and has lived in Alaska for 12 years. 

* Elizabeth A. “Liz” Downing is running for the school board District 8 position in Homer. She is the current vice president of the school board and owns Alaska Goldendoodles.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct seat Chris Hutchison filed for, corrected to note Sue McClure's tenure on the assembly and corrected to accurately reflect James Rowell's employment history.

Peninsula Clarion reporters Brian Smith, Dan Schwartz and Rashah McChesney contributed to this report. They can be reached at


Walker pick for Senate seat withdraws

JUNEAU — A man nominated by Gov. Bill Walker to fill an open Alaska Senate seat withdrew from consideration Thursday, less than a day after... Read more

Gravel pit work group lays out plan

After more than a decade of fiery debates about gravel pits operating near homes, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is taking another look at its regulations... Read more

Soldotna OKs relaxed pot regulations

With a tie-breaking vote, Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson gave retail marijuana businesses some wiggle room to set up shop in the small city.

Read more