It looks as though Louise Stutes will be the Republican challenger to Democrat Jerry McCune during the House District 32 race this November. With 14 out of 14 precincts reporting just after midnight, Stutes held her lead with 801 votes. Walker trailed her with 510 votes Carol Austerman garnered 486. These results are unofficial and final numbers won’t be known until absentee and early voter ballots are counted.
Stutes took the lead early in the race and held it throughout the evening as ballots were counted and numbers rolled in. KMXT spoke with Stutes about Tuesday’s primary and the unofficial election results.
“Well you know I’m very happy and I feel very grateful to the people of House District 32 that have their confidence in me and I’m not going to let them down. I’m going to take their message to Juneau.”
Stutes said she’s looking forward to challenging McCune during the general election this fall.
“I think it will be a good race. You know I had the opportunity to meet Jerry when he was in Kodiak and he’s a great guy and he’s got a lot of great qualities and I think it will be a good race and I’m looking forward to it.”
KMXT will bring you more updates on absentee and early voting ballots as they come during regularly scheduled news broadcasts.
Today is primary election day in Alaska. Voters will go to the polls to choose the participants in November’s general election, as well as decided whether the oil tax reduction passed by the legislature should be repealed.
In House District 32, which includes Kodiak, the Republican candidate for Alaska State House will be determined. The winner amongst Rich Walker, Louise Stutes and Carol Austerman will face Democrat Jerry McCune in November.
Statewide, candidates from each party for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator will be chosen.
Polls opened at 7 this morning and will remain so until 8 p.m.
KMXT will have results on the air and online as they come in tonight after the polls close. Here is a link to the State Division of Elections website where you can track them online.
Last night the candidates for House District 32 squared off in a debate hosted by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and KMXT public radio. Former Borough Mayor Jerome Selby moderated the event, which included all four candidates running for the house seat – Republicans and Kodiak locals Carol Austerman, Louise Stutes and Rich Walker, and Democrat Jerry McCune from Cordova. District 32 serves Kodiak and other coastal fishing communities like Yakutat and Cordova.
The candidates were asked a handful of questions throughout the evening and given two minutes to respond to each. One of the questions dealt with commercial fisheries and how each candidate would ensure it gets the attention it deserves in Juneau. Continue reading
The highly controversial decorum ordinance the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly passed last month will be coming back for reconsideration.
The request is being made by Assemblywoman Carol Austerman, who originally introduced the ordinance.
“We understand that people are concerned about the free speech. But the ordinance is really being interpreted in a way that we didn’t intend. I hope to be able to address those concerns through more conversation.”
There was an outpouring of anger from borough residents, and at least two threats of violence made against assembly members. A citizen-led effort to put an initiative on October’s ballot repealing the ordinance failed. The ordinance was derided as a way for the assembly to stifle open conversation at meetings, but Austerman says that was unintended.
“I’m really concerned about the amount of feedback that we’ve received over the last couple of weeks about the decorum ordinance. Our original intent of that ordinance was to protect the dignity of our borough employees. We’ve had some attacks to the staff that we were uncomfortable at public meetings. And so it was not to discourage input or public comment in any way. That wasn’t the intent of it.”
Austerman said she and Assemblyman Tuck Bonney will ask at Thursday’s assembly work session that the decorum ordinance be put on the agenda of next week’s assembly meeting for reconsideration. She added that public input on how to accomplish the dual goals of protecting borough employees from verbal attacks while not stifling public comment will be welcome.
A referendum to repeal an ordinance passed by the Kodiak Borough Assembly earlier this month will not make it on the October municipal election ballot.
A letter to the repeal’s backers from Borough Clerk Nova Javier said the petition application was rejected by the borough’s attorney because needed paperwork was not provided and the ordinance itself isn’t actually subject to referendum. Continue reading
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly may be taking a closer look at its fireworks ordinance in the future. Despite hearing fewer noise complaints than usual over the Fourth of July weekend, Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said two complaints were sent to the borough online concerning the amount of fireworks and noise in residential areas.
“They felt like the borough’s firework policy was failing and really directed the borough to try and do something different.”
Cassidy said the borough dug into the matter a bit and discovered that despite the limited complaints the borough, the Alaska state Troopers and borough fire departments were quite busy over the holiday weekend addressing community concerns and fires caused by fireworks.
Bayside Fire Department responded to two fires out at White Sands beach and Womens Bay Fire Department was called to a fire just past the trailhead to Heitman Lake. Cassidy said the fact that folks aren’t being cautious in dry areas is concerning, and unfortunately avoiding that is what leads to problems in residential areas. Continue reading