A voting booth for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and City of Homer elections at Cowles Council Chambers on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/ Homer News)

A voting booth for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and City of Homer elections at Cowles Council Chambers on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/ Homer News)

Election 2023: Here’s who’s running

Seats are open on city councils, the borough assembly, the school board and numerous service area boards

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Peter Micciche is running unopposed for reelection to the borough’s highest office following the close of the candidate filing period for the Oct. 3 municipal election season.

Across the Kenai Peninsula, seats are open on city councils, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education, and numerous service area boards.

In Kenai, incumbents Henry Knackstedt and Teea Winger have filed to run for the two open seats on the city council, as have council veteran Glenese Pettey and Phil Daniel, who works in information technology and is a Kenai Central High School alum. Both city council seats are for full three-year terms.

In Soldotna, incumbent candidates Mayor Paul Whitney and council member Chera Wackler are both running unopposed in their respective races. Council member Dan Nelson, who currently holds Seat B on the council, is running for reelection against Garrett Dominick, a disability rights advocate who also ran for council last year. All race winners will serve a three-year term.

In Homer, incumbent city council candidates Caroline Venuti and Rachel Lord are running for reelection to the body, which has two open seats this election cycle. Candidates Joni Wise and Daniel Hasche also filed to run.

In Seward, three candidates are vying for seats on the city council. Incumbent candidate Bob Barnwell is running for reelection, alongside Julie Crites and Brad Snowden.

On the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, constituents will say goodbye to at least two sitting members. Assembly member Richard Derkevorkian, who represents Kenai, and assembly member Lane Chesley, who represents Homer, did not file to run for reelection this year.

Ryan Tunseth, of Kenai, is running unopposed for the assembly’s Kenai seat. For the assembly’s Homer seat, former assembly president and state legislative candidate Kelly Cooper is running against Heath Smith, also a former candidate for the Alaska Legislature and a former Homer City Council member.

Incumbent assembly member Bill Elam is running for reelection to the assembly’s Sterling seat against Nissa Savage, a certified public accountant and shareholder with Savage Accounting, Inc. Peter Ribbens, who was appointed to the assembly’s Nikiski seat in January, is running for a partial, two-year term against Adam Bertoldo.

On the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education, incumbent Penny Vadla is running unopposed for reelection to the board’s Soldotna seat. Incumbent board member Jason Tauriainen is running for reelection against Nikiski resident Lyndsey Bertoldo. Current School Board President Debbie Cary is running for reelection against Dianne MacCrae. All are running for full three-year terms.

Beverley Romanin, who was appointed to the school board’s Soldotna seat last October, is running for a partial, one-year term against challenger Kelley Cizek.

This year’s municipal election falls on Oct. 3. Sept. 3 is the deadline to register to vote in that election, and absentee in-person voting starts on Sept. 18.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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