At noon on Friday (10-8-21), Sitka election officials began counting around 800 absentee and early ballots that were cast in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s municipal election. The effort took around two hours, and the results are in. Dave Miller and Kevin Mosher have been elected to the Sitka Assembly, and Proposition 1, which asked voters to weigh in on the sale of the former Sitka Community Hospital Building , passed by a wide margin.
Dave Miller won the lion’s share of the votes in the three-way race for two open Assembly seats, earning 1309 votes, or around 41 percent.
“It feels great! I think everybody that I’ve talked to, I’ve told them what I stand for,” Miller said in an interview with KCAW on Friday afternoon. “I stand for, you know, the safety of the people in this community and the welfare of this community. And that’s my big thing. I don’t have an agenda in any way, I just want this community to be the best it can be and I think we can do that. I think it’s gonna take a lot of my time. I don’t think people realize how much time assembly members have to put in to make it work and do it right. And I’m willing to step up and start doing that stuff.”
But the contest between the other two candidates– incumbent Kevin Mosher and Rachel Moreno–was neck and neck. Mosher held a 32-vote lead on election night, but it was still too close to call with so many early ballots left to count. The gap closed even more after those votes were folded in, but Mosher kept his lead, narrowly beating Moreno by just 11 votes.
“I’m very thankful and grateful. It was a very tight race, and I’m just very grateful,” Mosher said in an interview with KCAW. “I want to say thanks to Dave and Rachel for running. I think Rachel would have been great on the Assembly and I hope that in the future I can work with her. I think even if I hadn’t won, we would have been okay. Thank you to all the voters, people who supported me. I appreciated the support and the statement of trust that the people of Sitka are putting in me.”
While the Assembly race was tight this year, Sitkans were more unified on the sale of the former Sitka Community Hospital building. For the Proposition 1 advisory vote, 1105 Sitkans (around 67 percent of voters) cast ballots supporting that sale of Sitka’s former hospital building to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium for $8.25 million. 538 Sitkans voted against a sale in the advisory vote.
In an email to KCAW, SEARHC representative Magean Bosak said, “SEARHC is pleased with the municipal election results and the majority vote to proceed with the sale of the former Sitka Community Hospital. We look forward to expanding services and creating housing opportunities. SEARHC appreciates Sitka’s partnership.”
For school board, there were no surprises once early votes were factored in. Both incumbent Amy Morrison and Todd Gebler ran unopposed for two open school board seats. Overall, Morrison received 1,340 votes and Gebler received 1,208 votes.
The results will be certified at the October 12 Assembly meeting.