No rush as filing deadline approaches

Kenai Peninsula Borough, city seats still up for grabs in municipal elections

Posted: Tuesday, August 09, 2005

With the candidate filing deadline still a week away, there has, as yet, been no great rush to formally enter races for Kenai Peninsula Borough seats open for the Oct. 4 municipal election.

A few races are beginning to shape up, however.

As expected, former state lawmaker John Torgerson of Kasilof has filed to run for the borough mayor’s job being vacated by Mayor Dale Bagley, who is prevented from seeking re-election due to the borough mayoral term-limit law.

Torgerson currently faces just one opponent, Soldotna resident Raymond VinZant, who lost a primary race for the Alaska Senate as a Republican in 2002 but was later nominated for governor as a Republican Moderate candidate.

Three other candidates who have filed notice of intent to seek the mayor’s job with the Alaska Public Offices Commission have yet to turn in their papers to the borough clerk’s office and make those campaigns official. They are former Kenai Mayor John Williams, assembly President Gary Superman and Ed Oberts, assistant to Bagley.

Three assembly seats are up for grabs in the fall election. No one as yet has filed to run in District 8, the Homer district, currently represented by Chris Moss. Moss has said he would not seek re-election.

In District 2, Kenai, Betty Glick will face a challenge from Kenai resident Margaret M. Gilman, currently a member of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education.

In District 5, Sterling, Glen F. Martin, owner of the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna, has filed to run against longtime incumbent Grace Merkes. Martin last sought public office in 2004 when he ran an unsuccessful campaign as an independent against Rep. Mike Chenault for the District 34 House seat.

The fall election will see voters choosing candidates to fill three open seats on the school board. Incumbents Debra Mullins of Kenai, who holds Seat 3, and Debbie Brown of Kasilof, who holds Seat 7, have each filed with the borough clerk. Incumbent Nels Anderson of Soldotna, who holds Seat 4, has not filed.

Voters also will fill numerous seats on the various borough service area boards.

Several propositions will fill out the fall ballot, including measures that would institute a transient accommodation tax (bed tax), authorize Central Emergency Service Area bonds, advise on the proposed Funny River bridge project, reduce the cost ceiling on capital improvement projects requiring voter approval, and setting a maximum borough sales tax rate.

The filing deadline is Monday at 4:30 p.m.

The last day to register to vote is Sept. 4.

Incumbent city council member Lisa Parker is the only candidate to file so far in Soldotna. She is seeking re-election to Seat B for another three-year term.

The other council seat up for grabs is Seat F, currently held by M. Scott McLane. He has not yet filed.

Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey also has not filed for re-election, but his position will be on the fall ballot.

No one has yet filed for the three open Kenai City Council seats currently held by Linda Swarner, Blaine Gilman and Jim Butler. Gilman has said he will not file.

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