Absentee votes clinch Kenai, Soldotna council races

Absentee ballots confirmed the leads two Kenai and Soldotna City Council candidates had following the Oct. 6 election, and solidified wins for others.

Soldotna City Council incumbent Linda Murphy will retain her seat, a 3-year term.

When the polls closed the night of Oct. 6, Murphy was leading the race with 265 votes. Her challenger, Office of Emergency Management Program Coordinator Dan Nelson, only trailed by 11 votes.

With the inclusion of absentee ballots, Murphy pulled ahead with 328 votes to Nelson’s 286.

“I was really happy to have someone like Dan (Nelson) running against me because I know no matter what voters did at the ballot box that the city would be in good hands,” Murphy said.

During her next term, Murphy plans to focus on the marijuana industry and how it will eventually develop in the Kenai Peninsula Borough and in Soldotna. She favors an initial ban or restriction on its sale and manufacturing within city limits until its implications can be thoroughly measured, she said.

“I want to see how it works out in other cities before we jump on that bandwagon,” Murphy said.

Nelson, who is a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said the one thing he and Murphy really disagreed on was marijuana.

“I am still in favor of taking a very good look at forming the regulations,” he said. “I hope to still be involved in that discussion.”

Incumbent Paul Whitney also retained his 3-year council seat, collecting a total of 400 votes after absentee ballots were counted, compared to opponent Fred Sturman’s total of 247.

In Kenai, incumbent Bob Molloy retained his 3-year seat on the City Council with a total of 544, or more than 38 percent of the votes, after absentee ballots were counted.

When the polls closed after the election, Mike Boyle was ahead of Jim Glendening, though the pair were separated by only 31 votes. With the inclusion of absentee ballots, Boyle won the remaining seat left open by Ryan Marquis with 434, or almost 32 percent, of the votes, compared to Glendening’s 417 votes.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

The badge for the Kenai Police Department (Clarion file)
Walmart briefly evacuated after bomb threat

The investigation is ongoing.

Peninsula Clarion file
Merry voices to fill Kenai chamber

Historical society carolling event returns after hiatus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 hunter dead, another missing after boat hits rough seas off Whittier

The pair were reportedly hunting on Wednesday on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks recommended, not required in Soldotna city buildings

Council amends measure to make mask-wearing optional

Nick Begich III, seen here in this undated photo, is challenging Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives saying Alaska needs new energy in Washington D.C. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Nick Begich III touts fiscal conservatism in US House race

GOP candidate challenges Young’s record

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Most Read