Anchorage Assembly candidate Q&As: Do you acknowledge the results of the 2020 presidential election? What are your thoughts on what took place on Jan. 6, 2021 in the U.S. Capitol?

In advance of the April 5 Anchorage municipal election, the Anchorage Daily News asked candidates running for Assembly and Anchorage School Board a series of issue questions. Read all the Assembly and school board candidates’ responses here.

Q: Do you acknowledge the results of the 2020 presidential election? Also, what are your thoughts on what took place on Jan. 6, 2021 in the U.S. Capitol?

District 2 - Seat A - Eagle River/Chugiak

Kevin Cross

Yes, I acknowledge the results of the 2020 election. It is also completely reasonable to question authority and hold the process to a high standard. Let’s not forget that the 2020 election is not the first election to have been controversial. The 2016 election was called into question with claims of Russian influence for all 4 years of the Trump administration by mainstream media and leading Democrats. I also do not support or endorse the behaviors of those who entered the Capitol any more than I endorse or support people who loot stores, burn down courthouses, and destroy buildings whenever they are upset with something they see on TV. At the same time, we cannot let the bad behavior of a few diminish the concerns of the many.

Vanessa Stephens

I was not there Jan. 6, 2021 so I do not know exactly what happened. But it seems to be taking them a long time to figure out. Of course I support the results. To my knowledge there is no proof of an election conspiracy. If even one state found proof I might rethink it. But none has been found so the results stand. That the system for a democratic republic.

Gretchen Wehmhoff


Yes. I accept the results of the 2020 election. I, like so many in our country, was alarmed and deeply saddened by the citizens who had been led, through propaganda and lies, to take action they would normally condemn. Patriotism involves coming together to protect our country — not attack our Capitol, our vice president and Congress or the hundreds of police officers tasked with protecting them from enemies of our country. I’m still troubled that there are some who are defending the attack.

District 3 - Seat D - West Anchorage

Kameron Perez-Verdia

Yes, Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was a violent and deadly attack on our democracy.

Liz Vazquez

This question is not relevant and should not be part of this survey.

Nial Sherwood Williams

This is not relevant to the municipal election.

District 4 - Seat F - Midtown

Kathy Henslee

President Biden is our president. However, it is fair and reasonable to ask questions and demand accuracy in our elections. I believe the events on Jan. 6 in the U.S. Capitol have been exaggerated and misrepresented by the media and the left. The deadly and costly riots around the country in the last couple of years were covered much differently. Unlawful actions should be prosecuted regardless of political affiliation.

Meg Zaletel

Yes, I acknowledge the 2020 presidential election. There is no credible, nonpartisan proof that the election was fraudulent. I believe the attack on the Capitol was dangerous and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to those working in the Capitol that day, including the 138 police officers who were injured defending the building and its occupants from an armed mob.

District 5 - Seat H - East Anchorage

Forrest Dunbar

Yes, Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Just saying “Joe Biden is the president,” or similar statements, without acknowledging that the election was legitimate, is a dodge. Efforts to delegitimize the election are fundamentally attacks on our democracy, which should be opposed regardless of whether you voted for him or not. Those kinds of attacks came to their logical conclusion on Jan. 6. Because if people truly believe that the election was stolen, and are being fed that “Big Lie” over and over, then violence is predictable. What happened on Jan. 6 was an attack on our republic, was not “legitimate political discourse,” and should be denounced loudly and clearly by every elected official and political candidate.

Christopher Hall


This is a leading question, okay. The 2020 presidential election has been influenced by changes to election law. I dare you to challenge me on this. Jan. 6 was nothing. Let’s discuss Kenosha, let’s discuss Seattle, let’s discuss Berkeley, California. Let’s discuss Dallas when people were shot from an elevated position. Marxist communists that are fighting this country, instead of some people who went there to stop the electoral vote which the electoral vote in this particular case have been manipulated. You honestly think Arizona went blue? As a South Texas resident during most of my life, I dare you to discuss this with me, I dare you.

Stephanie Taylor

Yes, that election was called almost 18 months ago. The events on Jan. 6, 2021, were unfortunate. We will likely never get the full story of what happened on that day.

District 6 - Seat J - South Anchorage

Darin Colbry

I have no comment on the 2020 presidential election because I leave that up to God. And I condemn the the riot on the Capitol building because as adults, we need to think better about our actions.

Randy Sulte

Yes, I acknowledge the results of the 2020 election but believe trust in election integrity is damaged and should be addressed. I think it is a tragedy that a young, unarmed female lost her life during the protest and I am very thankful it did not result in the violent protest and further loss of life we have seen in Portland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago and other cities over the past two years. I believe in peaceful protest abiding by the laws of the land and not violating the rights of other citizens.


John Weddleton

President Biden won. The attack on the Capitol was tragically wrong.

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Read more Q&As with Anchorage Assembly candidates:

What is a short summary of your background?

Why are you running?

What makes you qualified to serve on the Anchorage Assembly?

What is the most important problem facing Anchorage? How would you address it?

What is the most important problem facing your district? How would you address it?

What is your vision of the role of local government in Anchorage?

Rate Dave Bronson’s performance as mayor. Explain, with specific examples.

Rate the performance of the current Assembly. Explain, with specific examples.

The past two years have been marked by increased civic discord in Anchorage. How would you improve the quality of civic discourse in the city?


What’s your vision for improving and diversifying Anchorage’s economy?

What do you see as the most effective strategies to address homelessness in Anchorage going forward?

What’s your assessment of Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure? How would you improve it?

Does the city do a good job of running municipal elections? Would you push for changes? Explain.

Do you acknowledge the results of the 2020 presidential election? Also, what are your thoughts on what took place on Jan. 6, 2021 in the U.S. Capitol?

What’s one thing that makes you hopeful about Anchorage’s future?


What other important issue would you like to discuss?