Opportunities to hear from Anchorage election candidates at forums and debates

Anchorage voters will cast ballots for the mayor’s office and three Anchorage School Board seats in the weeks ahead. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters on March 12, and have to be returned or postmarked by April 2.

Coming weeks will see a number of forums, panels and debates for candidates to share their views and visions for the city and the school district to a number of different groups. Most are open to the public.

Ten candidates have filed to run for Anchorage mayor. Four have raised significant funds from supporters and fielded concerted political campaigns for the office, and some forums and debates are limited to those candidates. That shorter list includes Mayor Dave Bronson, running for a second term, former Assembly chair Suzanne LaFrance, Democratic former state Rep. Chris Tuck, and Bill Popp, who recently retired from his job leading the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. The other mayoral candidates are Darin Colbry, Breck Craig, Nick Danger, Dustin Darden, Jenny Di Grappa and Phil Isley.

Voters will also decide three seats on the Anchorage School Board. Pat Higgins and Kay Schuster are running for seat E; Angela Frank and Dora Wilson are running for seat F; and Carl Jacobs and Chelsea Pohland are running for seat G.

If you are hosting an Anchorage election-related event and think we ought to know about it, email with details.

Anchorage Rotary mayoral debate

Tuesday, March 12, noon-1 p.m. at the Dena’ina Center, 600 W. Seventh Ave.

Asian Alaskan Cultural Center mayoral candidates forum

Saturday, March 16, 4-5:30 p.m. in the Northwood Elementary School multipurpose room, 4807 Northwood Drive


The Asian Alaskan Cultural Center’s Anchorage Mayoral Candidates Forum is intended to “provide a platform for dialogue and interaction between mayoral candidates and AAPI community members, fostering a deeper understanding of the issues that matter most to these vibrant and diverse communities,” according to the center. The event is sponsored and hosted by AACC with its eight member countries: China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Nepal. Participating candidates include Bronson, LaFrance, Popp, Tuck, Craig, Darden, Di Grappa, and Isley.

AFACT (Anchorage Faith and Action Congregations Together) mayoral forum

Monday, March 18, 7-8 p.m. at the First Covenant Church, 1145 C St.

According to AFACT, candidates will “respond to questions on issues raised by AFACT member congregations, such as protection of affordable housing and investment in community facilities.” Participating candidates include Popp, LaFrance, Tuck, Isley, Di Grappa, Darden, Danger and Craig.

Alaska Public Media/Anchorage Daily News mayoral debate

Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m. online and on television

Bronson, LaFrance, Popp and Tuck will participate in this debate moderated by Alaska Public Media News Director Lori Townsend and Anchorage Daily News Opinion Editor Tom Hewitt. The candidates will take up a range of issues, from outmigration to homelessness to affordable housing. This debate will be broadcast on Alaska Public Media’s television channel and livestreamed at, on Facebook and on YouTube.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Jenny Di Grappa as an APOC-exempt mayoral candidate. It also included an incorrect time for the AFACT mayoral forum; it is Monday, March 18 from 7-8 p.m.

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