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Write-in candidate and Hall are neck-and-neck in early returns

Rosemary Shinohara
Anchorage assembly opponents Ernie Hall and Nick Moe talk in the hallway outside election central late Tuesday.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Tim Steele marches to election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Bettye Davis is congratulated by Mayor Dan Sullivan upon her return to elected office on the Anchorage School Board Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Write-in Assembly candidate Nick Moe checks returns upon arriving at election central Tuesday April 2, 2013 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Erik Hill
Mayor Dan Sullivan and Ernie Hall confer in the hallway outside election central as Sullivan prepares to leave Tuesday April 2, 2013 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Erik Hill
Assembly write-in candidate Nick Moe, left, and Mayor Dan Sullivan converse as returns are posted Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Assembly candidate Dick Traini looks into McGinley's Pub as he walks toward election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidates Cheryl Frasca, left, and Amy Demboski visit while awaiting election results Tuesday April 2, 2013 at McGinley's Pub.
Erik Hill
Nick Moe, a write-in candidate for the Assembly, greets supporters at the Anchor Pub. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Nick Moe greets his grandfather Ed Moe at the Anchor Pub where they watched some election results come in. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Nick Moe shows excitement about the early results of his write-in campaign for Anchorage Assembly. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Dick Traini greets fellow candidate Tim Steele. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Tim Steele prepares to march to election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Amy Demboski and Mayor Dan Sullivan eye returns Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Assembly candidate Dick Traini talks with supporters at the Anchor Pub as election results come. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Tim Steele walks with supporters toward election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Mayor Dan Sullivan checks results on propositions Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Nick Moe volunteers cheer returns in his write-in race against Assemblyman Ernie Hall Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Nick Moe hugs Bettye Davis Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
School Board candidate Eric Croft is greeted at election central by Assembly candidate Dick Traini, who marvels at the showing of write-in candidate Nick Moe Tuesday April 2, 2013.
Erik Hill
Bettye Davis takes a lead over Don Smith in their school board race as she watches Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Cheryl Frasca greets well-wishers while awaiting results Tuesday April 2, 2013 at McGinley's Pub.
Erik Hill
Precinct workers arrive at City Hall with ballots and equipment Tuesday April 2, 2013 after polls close at 8 p.m.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Precinct workers arrive at City Hall with ballots and equipment Tuesday April 2, 2013 after polls close at 8 p.m.
Erik Hill
Erik Hill / Anchorage Daily News Ballots and gear come in to City Hall after the polls close in the municipal election, April 2, 2013.
Erik Hill
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Brooke Blessing, right, waves to passing cars at Northern Lights Boulevard and Minnesota Drive. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Tim Steele waves to motorists Tuesday afternoon at Northern Lights Boulevard and Minnesota Drive. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Andy Clary waves to cars at Northern Lights Boulevard and Seward Highway. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News While campaigners support their Assembly candidates at Norther Lights Boulevard and the Seward Highway, Darryl Matachian looks for a buyer for walrus tusk artwork. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Eliza McGownd, left, and Terry Crawford wave to passers-by. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Bennie Ames exits a voting booth at Benny Benson School during the Municipal Election on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Bill Roth
Anchorage assembly opponents Ernie Hall and Nick Moe talk in the hallway outside election central late Tuesday.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Tim Steele marches to election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Bettye Davis is congratulated by Mayor Dan Sullivan upon her return to elected office on the Anchorage School Board Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Write-in Assembly candidate Nick Moe checks returns upon arriving at election central Tuesday April 2, 2013 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Erik Hill
Mayor Dan Sullivan and Ernie Hall confer in the hallway outside election central as Sullivan prepares to leave Tuesday April 2, 2013 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Erik Hill
Assembly write-in candidate Nick Moe, left, and Mayor Dan Sullivan converse as returns are posted Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Assembly candidate Dick Traini looks into McGinley's Pub as he walks toward election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidates Cheryl Frasca, left, and Amy Demboski visit while awaiting election results Tuesday April 2, 2013 at McGinley's Pub.
Erik Hill
Nick Moe, a write-in candidate for the Assembly, greets supporters at the Anchor Pub. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Nick Moe greets his grandfather Ed Moe at the Anchor Pub where they watched some election results come in. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Nick Moe shows excitement about the early results of his write-in campaign for Anchorage Assembly. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Dick Traini greets fellow candidate Tim Steele. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Tim Steele prepares to march to election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Amy Demboski and Mayor Dan Sullivan eye returns Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Assembly candidate Dick Traini talks with supporters at the Anchor Pub as election results come. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Assembly candidate Tim Steele walks with supporters toward election central at the Dena'ina Convention Center. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, was Election Day in the municipality.
Marc Lester
Mayor Dan Sullivan checks results on propositions Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Nick Moe volunteers cheer returns in his write-in race against Assemblyman Ernie Hall Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
Nick Moe hugs Bettye Davis Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central.
Erik Hill
School Board candidate Eric Croft is greeted at election central by Assembly candidate Dick Traini, who marvels at the showing of write-in candidate Nick Moe Tuesday April 2, 2013.
Erik Hill
Bettye Davis takes a lead over Don Smith in their school board race as she watches Tuesday April 2, 2013 at election central at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Cheryl Frasca greets well-wishers while awaiting results Tuesday April 2, 2013 at McGinley's Pub.
Erik Hill
Precinct workers arrive at City Hall with ballots and equipment Tuesday April 2, 2013 after polls close at 8 p.m.
Erik Hill
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Precinct workers arrive at City Hall with ballots and equipment Tuesday April 2, 2013 after polls close at 8 p.m.
Erik Hill
Erik Hill / Anchorage Daily News Ballots and gear come in to City Hall after the polls close in the municipal election, April 2, 2013.
Erik Hill
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Brooke Blessing, right, waves to passing cars at Northern Lights Boulevard and Minnesota Drive. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Tim Steele waves to motorists Tuesday afternoon at Northern Lights Boulevard and Minnesota Drive. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Assembly candidate Andy Clary waves to cars at Northern Lights Boulevard and Seward Highway. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News While campaigners support their Assembly candidates at Norther Lights Boulevard and the Seward Highway, Darryl Matachian looks for a buyer for walrus tusk artwork. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Eliza McGownd, left, and Terry Crawford wave to passers-by. Anchorage Assembly and School Board candidates and supporters did some last minute campaigning on city street corners on municipal Election Day, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Marc Lester
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Bennie Ames exits a voting booth at Benny Benson School during the Municipal Election on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Bill Roth

Early returns in Anchorage's city election showed a surprising number of people voting for a write-in candidate over incumbent Assembly chairman Ernie Hall.

Hall had no challenger on the ballot. But Nick Moe, a staff member of the Alaska Center for the Environment, launched a write-in campaign against Hall late in the race.

Moe said he was motivated by Hall's handling of public testimony for a labor ordinance approved by the Assembly in March that strips power from city unions.

With more than a third of the precincts counted, Hall was slightly ahead of "write-in." The write-ins don't get counted by name unless the total exceeds Hall's vote.

In a second West Anchorage Assembly race, Tim Steele, a former School Board member, was ahead of Cheryl Frasca in early returns.

Mayor Dan Sullivan had endorsed Frasca, who retired as his city budget director.

The Midtown Assembly race between incumbent Dick Traini and Andy Clary -- another candidate Sullivan supported -- was close.

In Eagle River-Chugiak, Amy Demboski led Pete Mulcahy.

Two other incumbent Assembly members, Paul Honeman and Jennifer Johnston, were unopposed.

In two School Board races, former legislator Eric Croft was a clear favorite for one seat, and Bettye Davis was ahead of incumbent Don Smith for the second seat.

With a lead of thousands of votes, Croft wasn't ready to declare victory midway into Tuesday's counting.

He said he understands the School District's need for budget discipline, but wouldn't want to dismantle unions.

"I support people's right to organize and we need to bargain in good faith. But we need to count every penny as well," Croft said.

 

Lisa Demer contributed to this story. Reach Rosemary Shinohara at rshinohara@adn.com or 257-4340.

 

 

Municipal Election results
By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA
rshinohara@adn.com