Swarner, Molloy and Boyle earn Kenai council seats

Posted: Wednesday, October 05, 2005

An 18-year veteran and two newcomers were elected to the Kenai City Council on Tuesday.

Linda Swarner and Michael Boyle will be council members for the next three years and Robert Molloy will sit on the council for one year.

The unusual one-year term was created when former council member Pat Porter was elected mayor last year, with two years remaining on her three-year council term.

Jim Butler was appointed to fill the vacancy until the coming Oct. 4 municipal election, leaving one year on Porter's unexpired term.

Of the 1,898 votes registered in the three-year term race, Swarner garnered 564, or 29.72 percent. Boyle received 475 votes, or 25.03 percent.

They were the two highest vote-getters of four candidates for the three-year term, making them the winners of the two open council seats.

Incumbent Jim Butler was defeated, receiving 446 or 23.50 percent of the vote, and John "Ozzie" Osborne captured the remaining 21.02 percent or 399 votes.

Fourteen write-in votes were cast.

After hearing the final vote totals, Swarner said, "I am happy and enthused about another three-year term."

She has been a member of the Kenai City Council for 18 years.

"The people — the voters — have seen what I've done in my tenure on the Kenai council," she said, when asked why she believed she won.

She also said she plans to "continue to listen and learn what the residents of Kenai want in their government."

Boyle said, "I'm pretty pleased (about the results).

"It's nice to have the confidence of the voters," he said.

While he said he did not believe any one single issue contributed to the outcome of the election, Boyle said, "While going door-to-door, many people said they would like to see businesses coming to Kenai so they can shop here."

When asked about not getting elected to the three-year term, Butler said, "I think it's not a bad deal.

"Best of luck to Mike (Boyle). He's got a lot of work ahead of him; more than he thinks," Butler said.

In defeat, Osborne said he did not do much campaigning, but said in the next couple of weeks he plans "to get the paperwork together ... to file for the state house."

"Linda (Swarner) and Mike (Boyle) will do a good job," Osborne said.

In the race for the one-year term on the city council, Molloy received 528 votes, or 42.38 percent.

Tim Navarre and Scott Walden received 442 and 273 votes, respectively. Three write-in votes were cast.

"I'm excited. I'm grateful for the confidence of the voters," Molloy said after the votes were in.

"It was pretty big competition ... the former fire chief (Walden) and the former (Kenai Peninsula) Borough Assembly representative (Navarre)," Molloy said.

Walden said, "As I've said throughout the campaign, I think the citizens really couldn't lose with any of the candidates.

"Robert (Molloy) will do a good job."

When asked what he plans to do now that he did not win the council seat, Walden said, "I'm going to stay retired."

The Clarion was unable to reach Navarre for comment Tuesday night.

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