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Politics

Lojewski Leads Gas Utility Board Seat Race; Vows to Limit Costs, Ensure ‘Opt-out’

Fairbanks real estate agent Aaron Lojewski was holding on to a 5-percentage-point lead Tuesday night over David Pelunis-Messier in the only contested seat or two up for election for the Interior Gas Utility board.

Lojewski said last night he was cautiously optimistic that his lead would hold after absentee ballots were tallied.

He says if he’s declared the winner, one of his priorities will be to hold down costs and to fund the expansion of IGU’s natural-gas distribution system through grants, especially from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

Lojewski says he also wants to protect borough taxpayers from exposure to risk if the IGU gets into financial trouble.

“I don’t want to see them spending any money that is backed by the borough,” he said. “So in other words – a bond, if they defaulted, that would get stuck on the borough taxpayers.”

Lojewski said he’ll also preserve the right of residents who live within the IGU’s service area to opt-out of connecting-up to its system.

“I’m mean, in general, there’s a carrot and a stick approach to motivating people,” he said, adding he’ll favor the carrot – “No stick approach.”

Jack Wilbur Jr. won the other open seat in an uncontested race.