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Final Mat-Su assembly vote count puts contender ahead of Dunleavy-sponsored candidate

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: November 12, 2019
  • Published November 12, 2019

PALMER — Tim Hale, a Butte resident who billed himself as a “working Alaskan,” has defeated Brian Endle in a tightly contested race for an open seat on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly.

Endle, who lives in the Buffalo Soapstone area, was endorsed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and ran as a “true conservative.”

Both were candidates for the District 1 seat vacated by Jim Sykes due to term limits. The sprawling district stretches from Butte and Lazy Mountain through Sutton and out the Glenn Highway. Endle lost his bid to unseat Sykes in 2016.

Hale doubled Endle’s campaign contributions, with several unions among his supporters.

Endle was up by two votes after polls closed Nov. 5 with hundreds of outstanding questioned and absentee or special needs ballots still to be counted.

With those outstanding votes counted Tuesday, Hale jumped to a 25-vote lead of 1,135 to 1,110.

Two other candidates in the race, former assembly member Bruce Bush and Ryan Miller, dropped out and made statements supporting Endle, but their names remained on the ballot. Together they drew more than 160 votes.

The preliminary results of other races did not change after the outstanding ballot count. Stephanie Nowers defeated LaMarr Anderson for another open assembly seat, with 717 votes to Anderson’s 578; there were two other candidates on the ballot in that race. In school board races, Jim Hart defeated incumbent Ray Michaelson and incumbent Ryan Ponder defeated Alma Hartley.

The assembly will certify the election at its Nov. 19 meeting.