Kenai voters to pick from full slate of candidates

Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The race is on for the Kenai Municipal elections with six candidates in the running for three seats on Kenai City Council.

The filing period for the Oct. 5 election closed Monday evening.

Running for her third term as Kenai mayor, Pat Porter has thrown her name in the hat along with current council member Mike Boyle.

Boyle was first elected to the council in 2005and his term does not expire until next year. If Boyle wins the mayoral election the council would appoint someone to fill the rest of his term, said city clerk Carol Freas.

This is the second time Boyle has tried to unseat Porter for Mayor, losing his last bid to her in 2007 for the three-year term.

If re-elected, Porter said she would like to continue developing business in the community.

Candidates for city council include incumbents Hal Smalley and Barry Eldridge as well as new hopefuls Terry Bookey and Brian Gabriel Sr.

"I've been interested in the local politics of the city for quite some time," said Bookey, a paramedic and firefighter for Central Emergency Services in Soldotna. "I was born and raised here and it's kind of something I always wanted to do."

According to Bookey's campaign website, his platform outlines his support of open government, public safety staffing, and quality of life issues like a developed trail system.

Eldridge, a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain, was first elected to council in 2006 for a one-year term and then was re-elected the following year for his first complete term. Eldridge said economic development, bluff erosion and the quality of the city's drinking water are all projects he would like to continue working on with the city council.

Smalley, a retired teacher, has a long political career in the area, serving on the Kenai council for 10 years from 1988 to 1999 before being elected to the state House. In 2007, he was elected to Kenai council again. He also serves on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

In Kenai, all council members serve at-large and are elected for three-year terms.

The last day to register to vote in the October election is Sept. 5. Absentee ballots are available through the clerk's office Sept. 20.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at

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