Eldridge retains edge in Kenai

Absentee ballots aren't enough for Moore to retain city council seat

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kenai City Councilman Joe Moore gained ground toward reelection Tuesday following a count of absentee and questioned ballots, but not enough.

The vote totals which are not official until certified by the council Oct. 17 give the council seat to Barry Eldridge by four votes following Tuesday's count.

Incumbents Eldridge and Moore were challenged by former councilman and state representative Hal Smalley, who won handily with 805 votes. Eldridge finished second with 549 and Moore had 545.

At the polls on Oct. 2, 713 people cast votes for Smalley, 486 for Eldridge and 470 for Moore. Absentee and questioned ballots counted Tuesday put 92 votes for Smalley, 75 for Moore and 63 for Eldridge.

In Kenai, where candidates run for council seats at-large, the top two of the three vote getters win election to the two open seats.

Results in the mayoral race also remain unchanged with Pat Porter winning reelection to a three-year term.

When polls closed Oct. 2, 663 people had voted for Porter and 483 voted for challenger, Councilman Mike Boyle. Ninety-five votes were added to Porter's total from absentee and questioned ballots, while Boyle's number rose by 55.

Also unchanged were the results on two $2 million bond propositions: one to fund an expansion of the city's public library and one to pay for bluff erosion control measures.

As of Oct. 2, 746 favored expanding the library while 402 were opposed. With the absentee ballots counted, the affirmative vote grew to 837 votes and the "no" votes increased to 465.

Voters had approved the issue of general obligation bonds for bluff erosion control by a vote of 652 to 494 on election day. That ratio changed to 743-557 Tuesday.

According to City Clerk Carol Freas, the Kenai City Council will need to approve a resolution at its next regular council meeting officially certifying the vote.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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