With absentee ballots yet to be counted, Pat Porter holds a narrow lead in the Kenai mayoral race with 553 votes to challenger Bob Molloy’s 521 votes.
Still pending, however, are absentee ballots, according to the city clerk's office.
Election results will be certified at the city’s Oct. 16 council meeting. First, the city’s canvass board must review all its absentee ballots Oct. 8, according to the city clerk’s office.
But Porter is not nervous. She’s positive.
“Positive for Kenai, that’s what I try to do,” she said. “We’ll see what happens when the absentees get counted.”
Kenai resident Natalie Kohler said she voted for Porter because the mayor is hard working and she represents the city well.
“I think she can do it one more time,” she said.
Porter also has no political agenda, Jim Magee said. The mayor only has the community in mind, and she lives locally, he said.
For Molloy, it’s too soon for the city to declare its mayor.
“She’s 32 votes ahead, absentee votes still to be counted, so it’s still close,” he said.
The race is now out of his hands. He’s not nervous, either; he has a council meeting tonight and business to attend to. He ran a good campaign and people responded to it, he said.
Porter ran a good campaign, too, he said.
If re-elected, Porter plans to move the community forward in a way to attract residents and businesses, she said.
While Molloy saw the area of Willow Street, both sides of the Kenai Spur Highway, Vintage Pointe Manor, Millennium Square and the Kenai Municipal Airport as the city’s center, Porter said the heart of the city is Leif Hansen Memorial Park.
Porter also supported the comprehensive plan and the commercial development it proposed along the sections of the Kenai Spur Highway before it was repealed.
She said the city should negotiate with businesses to encourage development in its limits.
This story has been updated to clarify its second paragraph.
Dan Schwartz can be reached at email@example.com.