Sheree Van Natta speaks to a voter at the Kenai Mall, polling place for Precinct 3 voters, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Sheree Van Natta speaks to a voter at the Kenai Mall, polling place for Precinct 3 voters, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Register by Sunday to vote in special mayoral election

The special election was necessitated by the resignation of former Mayor Charlie Pierce

Kenai Peninsula Borough residents who want a say in picking the next borough mayor must be registered to vote by Sunday.

A special election to elect the next mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The special election was necessitated by the resignation of former Mayor Charlie Pierce, who stepped down last fall amid allegations of sexual harassment by his assistant.

Assembly members voted to appoint former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre as interim mayor. Navarre stepped in on Oct. 1, 2022, and will serve until a new mayor is elected. Soldotna City Council members Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings and Dave Carey, outgoing Alaska Sen. Peter Micciche, and Brothers’ Café co-owner Zachary Hamilton have all filed to run in the special election.

Borough code requires borough mayors to be elected with a majority of votes cast. If no candidate receives the majority of votes, the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff election. Per the special election schedule, election certification is scheduled for Feb. 21, followed by a runoff election, if needed, on March 7.

A special election is not being held for the assembly seat to be vacated by Jesse Bjorkman, who was elected to the Alaska Legislature last year. Rather, that vacancy will be filled by assembly appointment during the assembly’s Jan. 17 meeting. As of Jan. 10, when the filing period closed, Peter Ribbens is the only person to apply for the vacancy.

Alaskans can register to vote online with the Alaska Division of Elections at or at Absentee in-person voting for the special mayoral election begins on Jan. 30. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is Feb. 7.

More information about the special election and the four candidates running can be found on the Kenai Peninsula Borough clerk’s website at

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

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