Friday Anchorage election update: School bond failing, and Assembly member Weddleton concedes

A new round of results posted Friday showed no changes to Assembly and school board race outcomes in the Anchorage municipal election, with South Anchorage Assembly member John Weddleton losing his seat to challenger Randy Sulte.

Three other Assembly incumbents and two school board incumbents continued to hold leads over their challengers.

Since the first preliminary results on election day, and in each update since, votes have broken in favor of all incumbents except Weddleton. The continuing trends indicate that three Assembly incumbents will overcome challenges from a group of conservative candidates supported by Mayor Dave Bronson and who coordinated efforts to unseat the moderate-to-liberal-leaning Assembly members. That means the Assembly majority will likely keep enough members to override the mayor’s vetoes.

Weddleton conceded in the South Anchorage race, posting on Facebook that he called Sulte on Friday night to congratulate him. Sulte had 51% of the vote and a 453-vote lead over Weddleton.

“Anchorage faces many challenges and opportunities. We can continue to improve and prosper with cooperation and thoughtful problem solving,” Weddleton said. “My parting wish is that we not wallow in our differences but work together and celebrate our many successes.”

Still, most other candidates have yet to declare victory or concede losses in the races as they wait for election workers to finish counting ballots.

On Friday, election officials had counted 62,695 ballots, representing about 27% of registered voters. The latest results included 7,908 additional ballots.


Election officials say they have received more than 71,300 ballots at the election center, leaving thousands more to count, while more are still trickling in by mail. Workers will continue processing uncounted ballots next week.

As of Friday, two bond proposals were still failing by small margins, including a $111 million bond package to upgrade school district buildings. The school district proposal was failing by 932 votes, with 50.75% disapproval. All other city bond packages were passing.

In the West Anchorage Assembly race, incumbent Kameron Perez-Verdia had a 12-point lead over challenger Liz Vazquez with 54% of the vote. In East Anchorage, Forrest Dunbar had a 14-point lead over Stephanie Taylor, his most competitive challenger, with 56% of the vote.

Midtown Assembly incumbent Meg Zaletel was beating Kathy Henslee with 52% of the vote, though Henslee made up some ground in Friday’s count.

School board incumbents Margo Bellamy and Kelly Lessens continued to hold generous leads over two Bronson-backed conservative candidates.

Eagle River/Chugiak Assembly candidate Kevin Cross is winning the race to replace outgoing Assembly member Crystal Kennedy, who did not run for reelection.

Ballots will continue to trickle in by mail into next week, and officials will continue to update results on Monday, Wednesday and Friday by 5 p.m.

Emily Goodykoontz

Emily Goodykoontz is a reporter covering Anchorage local government and general assignments. She previously covered breaking news at The Oregonian in Portland before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at