Bill Falsey, who looks like he’ll be the third-place mayoral candidate in the April 6 Anchorage municipal elections, has endorsed Forrest Dunbar in the May 11 run-off race for Anchorage mayor.
The Dunbar campaign announced the endorsement on Tuesday afternoon, signaling efforts to quickly consolidate support around Dunbar as he heads into the high-stakes run-off race against far-right conservative candidate Dave Bronson. Falsey, the former city manager who ran on his experience in city government, currently has 12.93% of the vote. Ballots are still being counted with the results set to be certified next week.
“Forrest Dunbar is hands down the most qualified candidate entering this runoff election,” Falsey said in a statement released by the Dunbar campaign. “Anchorage deserves someone in the mayor’s office with real experience, who knows how to bring people together and get things done; someone who understands that the mayor has both an obligation and opportunity to elevate our community by setting a tone of civility and respect. In my time as municipal attorney and municipal manager, I worked personally with Forrest. I know him to be a dedicated, productive, practical, forward-looking, solution-oriented leader, with the community’s best interests at heart. He is now the right choice for mayor.”
According to the latest results, Bronson leads the the race with 23,597 votes (32.96%) to Dunbar’s 22,238 votes (31.06%). Together, the three leading progressive candidates—Dunbar, Falsey and George Martinez—stand at 47.67% of the vote. The three leading conservative candidates—Bronson, Bill Evans and Mike Robbins—stand at 50.25% of the vote.
Dunbar lauded Falsey for his campaign and his work for the city.
“I’m deeply honored to have the endorsement of Bill Falsey, and grateful for his long track record of public service and hard work on behalf of the people of Anchorage,” Dunbar said. “Bill ran his campaign on a vision of hastening our post-COVID economic recovery, creating a safe and thriving community, and developing a vibrant downtown. I look forward to championing those same values in the runoff race.”
Why it matters: The May 11 mayoral run-off will be about who can consolidate support around them the best and who can keep momentum and interest running into the election. As far as consolidation, Dunbar seems to have an easier path as a known quantity with a long track record on the Anchorage assembly.
Bronson’s path is less clear as his extreme-right politics and previous work on anti-LGBT issues may be tough for moderates to support. The 6,832 voters (9.54%) who supported moderate conservative candidate Bill Evans will be watched particularly closely in the run-off. Whether they support Bronson, support Dunbar or just stay home could have a big impact on who wins on May 11. Robbins endorsed Bronson over the weekend in a letter posted to the Facebook page of his campaign.