Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is leading GOP-backed challenger Rebecca Logan by 10,692 votes–an all but insurmountable 21.73-point lead–in early returns of Anchorage’s first vote-by-mail election released shortly before 9 p.m.
Berkowitz tallied 28,233 votes to Logan’s 17,541. The city has counted 50,506 ballots with 49,200 votes cast in the mayoral race. There were 3,426 combined votes for the seven other candidates in the race.
At least 12,000 additional ballots have been received by the city, a number that doesn’t include ballots dropped off or mailed today. More ballots will be counted tomorrow and again in following days as ballots are received by the city.
Almost all of the ballots would need to go to Logan to erase the Berkowitz’s lead, effectively ensuring the incumbent mayor a second three-year term in office.
Berkowitz can breath easy, but the vote over Proposition 1, a voter initiative that would have implemented bathroom bill-like regulations on who can use public bathrooms and locker rooms depending on their sex at birth, was closer.
The proposition was failing by 8-points with 53.9 percent of the vote cast against the proposition and 46.1 percent in favor of the proposition. The measure was failing by 3,884 votes, with 26,845 no votes to 22,962 yes votes. It’s still a difficult lead to reverse in later vote tallies, but not impossible.
Taken together, the night represents a big win for progressives in Alaska’s largest city that candidates in this year’s legislative races are likely paying close attention to.
In other voting, Proposition 10 allowing the sale of Municipal Light and Power to Chugach Electric was passing handily 65.51 percent to 32.49 percent. The same went for Proposition 11, the larger residential property tax exemption was passing with 72.97 percent to 27.03 percent.
Full results are available through the borough’s municipal elections site.