Soldotna: Three seats, three candidates

Soldotna City Council elections are sure to bring change this October, although each of the three seats are running uncontested.

Tyson Cox is running to retain Seat B for a three-year term, Keith Baxter is running for Seat F and Nels Anderson is running for city mayor.

Anderson is running for a three-year term to fill Mayor Pete Sprague’s seat. Sprague did not file for reelection.

“It was just time for me to step aside,” Sprague said. “I’ve been in elected office for 19 of the last 20 years and I think the city is in very good hands.”

This won’t be Anderson’s first time in the mayoral seat, though. He served as Soldotna mayor from 2013 to 2015, and served on the city council from 2009 to 2012. He also served on the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education from 1993 to 2008. He left the mayor’s office in 2015 for a Christian mission trip to Africa.

“I applied for this position because I was taught as a youth that public service was one of the most honorable aspirations in life,” Anderson said in his candidate statement. “I have found that it allows me to associate with some of the finest people in the community.”

Anderson could not be reached for an interview Wednesday.

Two council seats are also on the ballot this October but both candidates are running unopposed.

Cox will extend his time on council after filling a one-year term in 2016, his first term on Soldotna City Council.

“I just want to what’s right for Soldotna,” Cox said. “I would love to see more participation from the community, even on the ballots … We potentially have some big things coming up, so hopefully we’ll have some participation because that’s what drives where this community goes.”

Keith Baxter is running to fill Seat F, after leaving Seat E to run for Alaska State House. Council member Regina Daniels, who presently holds Seat F, isn’t seeking reelection.

“Well, I’m not in Juneau serving, so I thought I would take this opportunity to continue serving Soldotna,” Baxter said. “I’m not an incumbent, but it feels like an incumbency.”

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