LaFrance declares victory in Anchorage mayor’s race

Former Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance on Tuesday declared victory in the runoff election for Anchorage mayor.

In the most recent count released Tuesday afternoon, LaFrance had 53.5% of the vote, and was leading incumbent Mayor Dave Bronson by 5,612 votes out of a total of 79,468 ballots counted so far. Election officials on Monday reported they had received 80,182 ballots, with just over 100 ballots arriving by mail.

LaFrance declared victory based on a vote count released Friday. Just under 1,000 additional ballots were counted between Friday and Tuesday, leading to a small increase in LaFrance’s lead over Bronson.

“Our team is confident that the gap is greater than the outstanding ballots,” LaFrance said on Tuesday. “There’s so much work that needs to get done. We need to get started now.”

LaFrance said Bronson has not contacted her to concede the election. A spokesman for Bronson’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

The results of the election are set to be certified by the Anchorage Assembly at the end of the month, and a new administration would take office July 1.

LaFrance said she hoped Bronson’s administration would share information with her and her staff in the coming weeks to facilitate the transition.


“It’s be really great if he’d be willing to share status updates and really give a sense of where things are at, department by department,” she said.

LaFrance said she expects to share more information about a transition team in the coming days, adding that there is “a lot of work to do between now and July 1 and a lot of work to do after that.”

“I heard from employees at City Hall who say that things have never been worse that they are now, so it’s going to take some time to sort through and understand the different problem areas and start to make real progress,” said LaFrance. She said her initial priorities include “fixing the mess at City Hall and cleaning up our streets and trails.”

Initial hiring decisions will include a chief of staff, municipal manager and chief fiscal officer.

“I’m committed to building the best team possible, not based on partisanship but based on having folks who are competent, ethical and passionate about our community,” she said.

LaFrance said she is open to retaining some staff members who worked in Bronson’s administration, as long as they are “committed to a low-ego, nonpartisan, problem-solving approach.”

LaFrance, a registered nonpartisan, will be the first woman elected mayor of Anchorage.

Bronson has had a combative relationship with the Assembly supermajority during his time as mayor. LaFrance chaired the Assembly during the first two years of Bronson’s term, and led investigations into accusations of unethical and illegal acts within his administration. In his reelection campaign, Bronson asserted that LaFrance and the Assembly are “woke” and his leadership was needed to provide “balance” in city government. LaFrance campaigned on getting Anchorage “back on track,” as stated on her website, and promised to bring a “nonpartisan, problem-solving culture back to City Hall.”

LaFrance also received the most votes in the general election in April out of a field of 10 candidates, winning 36% of the vote. But she did not receive the required 45% of the vote to win outright, triggering a runoff between LaFrance and Bronson, who received the second-most votes.

Daily News reporter Iris Samuels contributed.