The final results of Kenai’s Oct. 4 election confirm the unofficial preliminary results: Brian Gabriel beat Hal Smalley for the seat of Kenai mayor, and Jim Glendening and Glenese Pettey are new council members.
With Kenai’s 211 absentee votes counted, the results of the city’s Oct. 4 municipal election are official. After the three polling places in Kenai closed and votes were counted on Oct. 4, the mayor’s race between Smalley and Gabriel was the closest on the ballot. Gabriel, with 577 votes, led Smalley, who had 502.
When the absentee votes were counted, Smalley almost made up his lead on Gabriel by earning 72 additional votes, according to official results released in the Kenai City Council’s Wednesday meeting packet. Gabriel, however, had gained an extra 105 from the absentees. He won with a total of 682 votes to Smalley’s 574. Gabriel will serve a three-year term as mayor.
In the council race, the two choices of the poll voters were also the most popular among absentee voters. Glendening, who led the poll with 549 votes, won the most absentee votes with 94. Pettey was second in both poll and absentee votes, with 405 and 74 votes, respectively. Christine Hutchison, who placed third in the polls with 312 votes, came in fourth on the absentee ballots, with 35 votes. Bob McIntosh beat her among absentees with 38 votes, though he had 259 poll votes. The fifth candidate, Jason Floyd, received 214 poll votes and 19 absentee votes.
Kenai — with an estimated population of 7,661 according to the U.S Census Bureau — has 5,223 registered voters. Including absentees, 1,302 of them cast ballots at the Oct. 4 election for a turnout of 24.9 percent.
The three new Kenai officials will be sworn in to their new positions at the city council’s meeting Wednesday night.
Reach Ben Boettger at email@example.com.