Anchorage election workers added another 10,000 ballots to the tally on Thursday, narrowing the lead that progressive candidates have held since election night.
With 51,181 votes counted, Anchorage Assemblymember Forrest Dunbar’s lead on extreme-right conservative candidate Dave Bronson for mayor has shrank to 1% (though he’s maintained roughly the same margin in vote number since election night). Several school board races have also narrowed since election night. With as many as 23,600 ballots left to be counted, the leaders of these races could still change by the time the election is certified on April 20.
In the race for mayor, the leader on April 20 will largely be a symbolic victory because both Dunbar and Bronson are expected to head to a run-off election on May 11. Both campaigns told the Anchorage Daily News that they’re are already shifting gears to campaign for the month ahead.
The cumulative total of the three leading progressive candidates—Dunbar, Bill Falsey and George Martinez—currently sits at 49.21% while the cumulative vote total of the three leading conservative candidates—Bronson, Bill Evans and Mike Robbins—is 48.58%. The conservative total has steadily grown as votes have been counted while the progressive count dipped on the second day of vote counting but climbed on Thursday. Whether the voters on each side of the ticket neatly line up behind Dunbar and Bronson has yet to be seen, but Evans who currently stands at 9.48% of the vote is quite a bit more moderate than Bronson. His voters (as well as any other candidates’ supporters) could split or not vote on May 11.
The races for the four school board seats will be decided in this election. Currently, progressive candidates lead in all races but conservative candidates are within a winnable distance if the remaining votes break in their favor.
The closes race currently is the four-way race between Kelly Lessens, Marilyn Stewart, Mark Cox and Judy Eledge. Lessens, the progressive, currently leads in the race while extreme-right Eledge, whose frequently bigoted social media posts made headlines early in the race, is about 1,104 votes behind. By the numbers, the gap has increased since election night but Lessens’ lead in terms of the percentage of the overall vote has narrowed from 3.46% on election night to 2.46% as of the latest tally.
The one race where the progressive candidate has a secure lead is Anchorage Assembly Chairman Felix Rivera, who is comfortably escaping recall with the no votes leading by 15.32 percentage points.
The next round of results is expected later this afternoon. Most ballots postmarked by election day can arrive as late as April 16 and still be counted.