Anchorage progressives appear to have won ultra-close school board races

With the results of Anchorage’s April 6 election set to be certified tomorrow, it appears that all four progressive candidates for the Anchorage School Board have won their races.

Though their leads narrowed from election night, Dora Wilson, Carl Jacobs, Pat Higgins and Kelly Lessens still hold leads following Friday night’s review of rejected and challenged ballots—the last major opportunity to shift the needle on the races—was completed.

Lessens has the narrowest lead under the current results with a 235-vote lead over extreme-right conservative candidate Judy Eledge in the four-way race for School Board Seat B. That amounts to a .36-point lead over Eledge, which means the race will head to an automatic recount with the week. It’s unlikely to move the results to the extent needed.

On Friday, Higgins’ campaign claimed victory in his race and congratulated Jacobs, Wilson and Lessens on their victories.

“I want to make sure all children in our public schools receive the best education possible. Our community strives to be diverse, inclusive and welcoming, but we should always work to improve graduation rates, teacher retention and to close the achievement gap,” Higgins said in the prepared statement. “I am looking forward to working with the current ASD board members and newly elected members Carl Jacobs, Kelly Lessens, and Dora Wilson. We have much to do but can get the job done by working together.”

In other races, Assemblymember Forrest Dunbar and conservative candidate Dave Bronson will head into the May 11 run-off election. Bronson has a 2-point lead over Dunbar. Dunbar has the endorsements of fellow progressive frontrunners Bill Falsey and George Martinez. Conservative candidate Mike Robbins has endorsed Bronson, but moderate conservative candidate Bill Evans has not issued an endorsement.

Anchorage Assembly Chairman Felix Rivera handily defeated the recall attempt.

All but two of the ballot propositions—one seeking to fund police vehicles and another with areawide health and safety code improvements—were approved by the voters, including a levy for police body cameras and associated data infrastructure.

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