Field is set for April 1 Anchorage Assembly, School Board election

Lisa Demer

The field for the April 1 municipal election is set, with four Anchorage Assembly members drawing challengers, a three-way race for an open seat in South Anchorage and one incumbent, Midtown Assembly member Elvi Gray-Jackson, running unopposed. Two school board members also have challengers.

The filing deadline for candidates was 5 p.m. Friday, and one candidate just made it in. Mark Martinson filed for the downtown Anchorage seat held by Patrick Flynn a few minutes before 4:30 p.m., said Amanda Moser, the city's deputy clerk for elections.

A hot Assembly race is shaping up in East Anchorage, where incumbent Adam Trombley has drawn two well-known challengers, former state Rep. Pete Petersen and Mao Tosi, a community activist.

Here's the final lineup for the contested races, according to the city clerk's office:


• Incumbent Flynn, a 42-year-old father of two, is seeking his third term in the district he grew up in. He's regional manager for Weston Solutions, an environmental engineering firm.

• Martinson, 62, is a full-time chemistry instructor at the University of Alaska Anchorage with three grown children.


• Incumbent Bill Starr, 52 and a father of three, is a businessman seeking a third term.

• Challenger Sharon Gibbons, 42 and mother of five, has worked 14 years for the federal public defender's office.


• Incumbent Tim Steele, 68 and a former School Board president and father of two grown children, is seeking his first full term after being elected to a partial term last year.

• Challenger Phil Isley is an aircraft mechanic who ran for the seat last year but lost to Steele and appointed incumbent Cheryl Frasca in a three-way race.


• Incumbent Trombley, 34 and father of two, is seeking a second term. He works in sales for Nalco Champion, a chemical provider to the oil industry.

• Petersen, 63, served two terms in the state House as a Democrat before being defeated by Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt after redistricting pitted them against one another.

• Tosi, 37, is a father, community organizer, Northway Mall manager and former NFL player.


• Bill Evans, 53, is an Army veteran who was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and who served as a police tactical assault team member in suburban Cleveland. He currently works as a labor law attorney who represents management.

• Pete Nolan, 57, is a former Anchorage police officer who was shot while on patrol in 1981 and retired four years later, still suffering from the bullet injuries. He had served on the police tactical assault squad. He now works in advertising and marketing with the Arctic Warrior newspaper on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

• Bruce Dougherty, 54, is a retiree, Air Force Reserves veteran, and former nursing assistant at the Anchorage Pioneers' Home. He used to work as administrator of a retirement home in Washington state.

Current Assembly member Chris Birch will have served the maximum three terms.


• Incumbent Pat Higgins, 61 with three adult children, works in human resources. He is seeking his third board term.

• Liz Ross, 34 and with two young daughters, works part-time as an emergency manager for the Alaska Air National Guard.

• Dean Williams is the former superintendent of McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage.


• Incumbent Kameron Perez-Verdia, 42 and a father of two young children, was appointed to the school board in April after then-board member Gretchen Guess resigned. He's chief executive officer of Avant-Garde Learning Alliance, a nonprofit that works to improve rural schools and organizations.

• Don Smith, 74, is a former Anchorage School Board member who lost last year to former state Sen. Bettye Davis. He was on the Anchorage Assembly from 1975-85 and earlier served a term in the state House.

• Karli Lopez, 30, is a mother of two young children who chairs the state's early intervention committee for the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education.

Anchorage residents can register to vote in the municipal election through March 2.

Reach Lisa Demer at or 257-4390.


Contact Lisa Demer at or on