Filing deadline looms for election hopefuls

Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2005

The candidate filing deadline for municipal offices ends Monday and the races of three open seats on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly are beginning to shape up.

The race for mayor, however, was still a two-man race as of Friday, though it is possible that field could more than double by the filing deadline at 4:30 p.m. Monday. Officially in the race are Soldotna resident Raymond P. VinZant and former state lawmaker John C. Torgerson, of Kasilof.

Former Kenai Mayor John Williams, Assembly President Gary Superman, and mayoral aide Ed Oberts have said they intend to run.

Mayor Dale Bagley is prevented from seeking a third consecutive term by a borough mayoral term limit law.

Kenai resident Margaret M. Gilman is still the only candidate challenging incumbent Betty Glick, of Kenai, for the District 2 assembly seat.

Over in District 5, the Sterling District, incumbent Grace Merkes now faces a second challenger. Sterling resident Amber Elsey has entered the race, joining Glen F. Martin in opposing Merkes' re-election.

Early last week no one had signed up to seek the District 8 seat in Homer, currently held by Chris Moss who is not seeking re-election. However, in the interim, Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education member Deb Germano and former Homer Planning Commission member Bill Smith have filed to run for the open seat.

All the assembly seats are for three-year terms.

Three seats are open on the school board, all of them three-year terms.

Incumbent Debra K. Mullins, of Kenai, is being challenged by Victoria E. Pate, of Nikiski, in the race for board Seat 3.

Meanwhile, John Nels Anderson, the Seat 4 incumbent from Soldotna, and Debbie Holle Brown, Seat 7 incumbent from Kasilof, were facing no challengers as of Friday afternoon.

A host of seats are open on the various borough service area boards, but nowhere had a direct competition developed by Friday. Of interest, perhaps, is Victoria Pate's decision to run for Seat E on the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area Board, as well as making her bid for the school board.

Pate was among a group of Nikiski voters who successfully challenged proposed expenditures of the service area board last year, and is a member of the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers, ACT, which has succeeded in getting a pair of finance-related propositions on the fall municipal ballot that would roll back a scheduled sales tax increase and lower the amount the borough assembly could spend on capital projects without a public vote.

The fall ballot will include three other propositions, including measures that would institute a transient accommodation tax (bed tax), authorize Central Emergency Service Area bonds, and advise on the proposed Funny River bridge project.

Incumbents Soldotna City Council members Lisa Parker, Seat B, and M. Scott McLane, Seat F, have each filed for re-election to new three-year terms. However, so far they face no challengers.

As of Friday afternoon, Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey had not officially filed for re-election to the mayor's office. However, Carey announced he would run again in a press release sent out at 5:07 p.m. Friday.

Of the three incumbents, only Linda Swarner has filed to run for her open Kenai City Council seat. She faced no challenges as of Friday afternoon. Incumbents Blaine Gilman and Jim Butler have not filed.

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

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