After counting absentee and questioned ballots, the Soldotna Canvass Board tally shows a run-off election will be needed to determine a winner in the much contested race for city council seat D, formerly held by Jane Stein.
Because none of the five candidates for the seat garnered the required 40 percent plurality, the two highest vote getters will face one another in the runoff Oct. 30.
Peter Micciche, who had a commanding lead when unofficial totals came in from the polls on election night, remains the top vote recipient and will run against Linda Murphy, who had been in third place by one vote after the polls closed.
On election night, Lydia Bower was ahead of Murphy by one vote. Micciche had slightly over 38 percent of the total; Bower and Murphy had totals slightly below 22 percent.
Of 2,965 registered voters in Soldotna, 579 voted.
After counting 86 absentee and questioned ballots, Micciche's total went up by 32 votes to 243; Murphy increased by 27 to 147; and 14 votes were added to Bower's total, now at 135.
Penny Vadla and Chris Pankratz remained in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
In order for the results to be official, the city council must approve a resolution certifying the canvass board tally.
Soldotna voters will now be called back to the polls to decide between Micciche and Murphy. Votes may be cast at Soldotna City Hall from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 30, and city officials said they hope to have absentee ballots available by Monday, according to City Clerk Teresa Fahning.
In two other city council seat races, Shane Horan ran unopposed to complete the remaining one year on the unfinished term to which he was appointed when Lisa Parker resigned in January; and Ed Sleater ran unopposed in his bid for re-election to a three-year term.
The vote totals remain unofficial until certified at Wednesday's Soldotna City Council meeting.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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