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Alaska News

Early results show Berkowitz has big lead in bid for re-election as Anchorage mayor

  • Author: Devin Kelly
  • Updated: April 4, 2018
  • Published April 3, 2018

In initial election results posted Tuesday night, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz held a commanding lead over his challengers in his bid to secure a second term as the city's top executive.

With just more than 50,000 votes counted, Berkowitz had received more than 57 percent of the vote.

"I think we're going to wait until everything gets counted, but I feel very gratified," Berkowitz said in a brief interview Tuesday night.

At least 16,000 additional ballots had been received by elections officials and not yet counted, and an unknown number were still coming in, as voters flocked to mailboxes, drop boxes and vote centers for the final day of Anchorage's first-ever vote-by-mail election.

Election officials began posting results even as voters had a few remaining hours left to get a postmark on a ballot late Tuesday night. More results were expected to come Wednesday.

Rebecca Logan, Berkowitz's main challenger, had received 17,541 votes to Berkowitz's 28,233 votes as of Tuesday night. Berkowitz needs at least 45 percent of the final vote to avoid a runoff.

Logan said Tuesday night she wasn't yet ready to concede. She said she wanted to wait and see what updated results looked like on Wednesday.

Crime dominated forums and discussions in this spring's mayoral race, along with taxes and the city economy.

Daughters Lindsey Logan and Lauren Logan and Anchorage mayoral candidate Rebecca Logan along with Rebecca’s fiancée Scott Harter wait for election results at her headquarters on 5th Ave in Anchorage, AK on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Berkowitz and Logan differed on several key issues. Berkowitz, a registered Democrat who was elected in 2015, largely focused his campaign on the hiring of 100 new police officers during his tenure, as well as what he described as his efforts to steer the city through cutbacks in state spending.

He touted two other initiatives his administration proposed for the April ballot: Prop. 10, the possible sale of Municipal Light & Power to an Anchorage-based cooperative, and Prop. 11, a measure to allow homeowners to claim a higher property tax break for the home in which they live.

Both measures were passing by large margins in the early results on Tuesday.

The campaign also coincided with Anchorage's first-ever gasoline tax taking effect March 1, which Berkowitz said was a way to reduce the city's reliance on property taxes.

Logan, who was endorsed by the state Republican party, made public safety the centerpiece of her campaign and sought to challenge Berkowitz on crime.

She said she opposed the sale of ML&P, saying the process had not been transparent enough. She also said the gasoline tax and the proposed property tax break for homeowners amount to unfair burdens for businesses.

Both Berkowitz and Logan opposed Proposition 1, an initiative that sought to regulate restrooms, locker rooms and other "intimate facilities" by sex at birth. In the early results Tuesday night, voters were leaning toward rejecting Prop. 1.

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