Dave Bronson has pulled ahead with a slight lead over Forrest Dunbar in the race for Anchorage mayor, preliminary election results posted Friday show.
Neither candidate stands to garner the 45% plus one of the vote to win the election outright. The two will advance to a runoff election on May 11.
The deadline to register to vote in the runoff is Sunday, April 11.
Over 7,200 more ballots had been counted as of Friday, bringing the total to 58,446. Bronson had a slight lead over Dunbar with 18,716 total votes, or just under 32.5%. Dunbar was just behind with 18,300 total votes, or just under 31.8%.
Bronson is a retired military and commercial pilot. He served in the Air Force, Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Though the race is technically nonpartisan, his candidacy is a bid to bring conservative leadership to Anchorage.
Dunbar is an Assembly member from East Anchorage. He’s an attorney and a captain and assistant judge advocate in the Alaska Army National Guard. In 2014 he ran for Congress as a Democrat, losing to Rep. Don Young.
Friday’s early results show about a 24.7% voter turnout so far, but the elections center is still counting ballots, and more will arrive by mail in the coming days.
Thirteen other candidates in the race for mayor kept their relative positions behind Bronson and Dunbar. Bill Falsey was in third with about 13% of the vote, Bill Evans had about 9.6%, Mike Robbins had 7.5% and George Martinez had over 3%. The rest of the candidates each had received a small number of votes.
Friday’s results show that District 4 voters are still rejecting an initiative to recall Assembly chair Felix Rivera. So far, about 58% have voted against the initiative.
The leaders of the school board race, all endorsed by Anchorage Democrats and the Anchorage Education Association, remained the same. Pat Higgins leads for seat E, Kelly Lessens for seat B, Dora Wilson for seat F and Carl Jacobs for seat G.
Two school board incumbents, board president Elisa Vakalis and member Alisha Hilde, could lose their seats.
Two of the city’s bond propositions were still failing, Friday’s results show. Proposition 8, a $3.9 million bond proposal to fund new Anchorage police fleet vehicles and other improvements, was failing with just under 49% of the vote. Proposition 1, a $6.9 million bond proposal that would fund various capital projects, was failing with 47% of the vote.
The rest were passing. Those propositions include a property tax levy to pay for body cameras and other technology improvements for the Anchorage Police Department, which is so far succeeding with about 54% of the vote.
The city’s election center will continue processing and counting ballots on Saturday and will release updated preliminary results that day, according to a news release from the municipal clerk.