North Slope election certified; Brower takes mayor's office

Kyle Hopkins

North Slope Borough Assembly members named Charlotte Brower the new borough mayor Tuesday following a count of absentee and questioned ballots in Barrow, the borough clerk said.

"She's already in her new office as we speak," Clerk Jeannie Brower said.

The second-place finisher, former Mayor George Ahmaogak, has contested the results, with a recount expected sometime this week, the clerk said.

The battle to replace outgoing Mayor Edward Itta has been a long one. The contest drew five candidates to the ballot on Oct. 4, with a sixth contender, Fenton Rexford of Kaktovik, waging a write-in campaign.

Brower, a former Borough Assembly member, and former five-time Borough mayor Ahmaogak finished first and second in the voting.

The close call led to a run-off election Nov. 8.

In that contest, Brower initially led Ahmaogak 906-841. Election officials counted 234 remaining absentee and questioned ballots Tuesday, the borough clerk said.

The final tally: Brower defeated Ahmaogak 1,022-960 in the run-off, the clerk said. The Assembly certified the election Tuesday, she said.

Itta, meantime, has left the borough building, Jeannie Brower said. "His wife came in to the Assembly chambers and walked him out."

The job of North Slope Borough mayor is an important one in Alaska politics, with the Barrow-based government located in the thick of Alaska's existing oil production and a simmering debate over offshore drilling efforts.

Ahmaogak's campaign took a blow this fall when his wife, Maggie, was indicted on charges of stealing from the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

Twitter updates: twitter.com/adn_kylehopkins. Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334 or email him at khopkins@adn.com.


By KYLE HOPKINS
Anchorage Daily News
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