The race for the second seat on the Sitka assembly is a dead heat, and won’t be settled until absentee and early ballots are counted this Friday. Sitkans cast their votes more decisively on Prop 1 on election day, however, favoring the sale of the Sitka Community Hospital building by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
In the three-way race for two open assembly seats, Dave Miller has a decent lead. Miller earned the most votes in precincts 1 and 2 on election day, receiving 680 votes overall. As long as the early and absentee votes line up similarly, Miller will likely be elected to the Sitka Assembly. But the race for the second seat is extremely close. So far, incumbent Kevin Mosher has earned 478 votes, with Rachel Moreno right behind him with 446 votes. The two precincts split on the winner, with Mosher winning precinct 1 and Moreno winning precinct 2. The two candidates are separated by a difference of just 32 votes.
While the Assembly race is far too close to call, the outcome is more definitive for Prop 1. 574 Sitkans voted in favor of selling the former Sitka Community Hospital building and properties. 300 voted against a sale. The counting of absentee and early ballots on Friday will likely not affect the outcome. The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has offered just over $8.2 million for the properties, with plans to expand its long term care unit and build a 28-unit residential apartment complex. The ballot question is only advisory, however, and the Sitka Assembly will ultimately decide whether to approve a sale at its next regular meeting.
The race for Sitka School Board was no contest this year, with only two candidates seeking the two open seats on the board. Nevertheless, both won strong support from voters. Incumbent board president Amy Morrison had 710 votes with 2 precincts reporting. Newcomer Todd Gebler had 636. There were only 53 ballots cast for write-in candidates on election day, making it unlikely that the race will be affected by Friday’s count of absentee and early ballots. Both Morrison and Gebler will take 3-year terms on the Sitka School Board.
These election results are still unofficial — nothing will be certain until the 807 early and absentee ballots are counted on Friday. The results will not be official until the Sitka Assembly certifies the election on Tuesday, October 12.