Interior’s Conservative Candidates Fare Well in Tuesday’s Municipal-government Elections

Oct 7, 2020

Conservative candidates fared well in Tuesday’s Fairbanks North Star Borough municipal election.

Preliminary, unofficial results show former Assembly member and Republican state legislator Tammie Wilson is besting Donald Crocker in the race for assembly seat D. Wilson says the pandemic will require re-assessment of borough spending.

“We know that bed tax (revenues) was going to be down, and a lot of other things were going to be down,” she said Tuesday night. “So how do we still give the services without increasing taxes on businesses and individuals?”

In the race for seat E, incumbent Jimi Cash is well ahead of former assembly member Shaun Tacke. Cash agrees with Wilson that decisions will have to be made about borough service priorities. 

“We’re going to have to figure out some way to prevent from having to raise the mill rate up to the cap, which we don’t want to do,” he said. “Because not only is the borough going to be short on money, but also households are going to be short on money, too. So, we’ve got to do what we can to not impact taxpayers, as much as possible.”

In the third Assembly race on the ballot, incumbent Aaron Lojewski is leading challenger Ryan Van Reenan for seat H.  Lojewski has a more optimistic take on borough finances.

“We’re not running a huge deficit that we have to fix overnight,” he said. “We did sort of have a little bit of one last year, where we pulled from savings. But compared to the state issues, that is a minor issue to fix. And we also have several mission dollars in our savings account, general fund account, above and beyond our target amount. So we do have a little bit of cushion to help balance the budget next year.”

In Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board races, incumbent Tim Doran leads challenger Jeffery Rentzel for seat E, while April Smith has a solid gap over 3 other candidates, including incumbent Sean Rice, for seat D. In the other school board contest on the ballot, Maggie Matheson is well ahead of Brandon Boylan for seat G.

In other borough election results, the long-standing tax revenue cap was re-approved by voters, and former borough mayor Luke Hopkins, and Bert Bell, who both ran unopposed, were elected to Interior Gas Utility board seats.

In Fairbanks City Council races, Lonny Marney is edging Sue Sprinkle for seat E, and Jim Clark has significant lead in a 5 way race for seat F.

A city ballot measure seeking authorization to finance a water system extension and improvement project has been approved.

Outlying communities' election outcomes

In other communities outside of Fairbanks, Delta Junction, incumbent and longtime City Council member Pete Hallgren barely won re-election to a fifth term Tuesday. According to unofficial results of Tuesday’s election, Hallgen edged his challenger, Erin Catterson, by s single vote.

Newcomer Mike Prestagard was unopposed in his bid for an open seat on the Delta council.

In North Pole, incumbent City Council members Aino Welch and DeJohn Cromer were both unopposed and both re-elected.

In Nenana, Cory Dugan was re-elected to another term on the City Assembly, accoding to unofficial results. And Sheryl Turner was elected to an open Assembly seat. Both candidates were unopposed.