Keller elected new mayor of Wasilla

Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2002

WASILLA (AP) -- Wasilla residents have elected a new mayor.

Dianne Keller was elected in municipal voting Tuesday. Keller takes the city's top job from outgoing Mayor Sarah Palin, who could not run again because of term limits.

Keller beat three other candidates, including Palin's stepmother-in-law, Faye Palin, to take the $68,000-a-year position.

With up to 131 absentee and questioned ballots remaining to be counted, Keller had a lead of 402-256, over runner-up Faye Palin.

Borough Assemblyman Dan Kelly and construction worker Cliff Silvers garnered 179 and 35 votes, respectively.

Keller, a grant manager for the state Division of Emergency Services, had stressed her familiarity with Wasilla projects during her campaign. She also said she would work to get police to do more patrols of neighborhood streets.

Officers now spend much of their time policing the Parks Highway, she said.

Keller avoided a potential runoff in the race by garnering 46 percent of the vote. City election rules require a runoff unless a candidate gets 40 percent or more of the vote.

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