New city council members elected as final Mat-Su voter results tallied

PALMER – Several incumbent city council members in Palmer, Wasilla and Houston lost their seats in unofficial local election results expected to be certified this week.

Funding for a rebuilt public library and expanded senior and disabled veteran property tax exemptions received wide voter support in city elections held last week across Mat-Su, according to a final tally of results from three city elections.

Palmer, Wasilla and Houston hold elections annually on the first Tuesday of October. Matanuska-Susitna Borough elections are held at the same time as state and federal elections in November. Preliminary results were available last Tuesday night but did not include tallies from questioned ballots or absentee or early voting.

Wasilla and Houston were scheduled to certify their results Monday, while Palmer will conduct its certification Tuesday.

In Palmer, up to $10 million for library construction was approved 367-94, and a $300,000 property tax exemption for disabled veterans and seniors was approved 413 to 48. The Palmer public library was destroyed in a mid-February roof collapse.

Former Palmer Mayor Jim Cooper won a seat on the city’s council with 279 votes. City council incumbent Richard Best was reelected with 224 votes. Incumbent Thomas Ojala lost his seat after receiving 178 votes.

In Wasilla, incumbent mayor Glenda Ledford was reelected against challenger Bernadette Rupright 433-182. Ian Crafton beat incumbent Simon Brown for a city council seat 390-209. Timothy Johnson ran unopposed.


In Houston, voters in a 102-50 vote rejected a property tax increase to fund city parks. A $264,000 property tax exemption for seniors over 65 and disabled veterans was approved 138-14. In city council races, Lisa Johansen narrowly beat incumbent Jay Lowenstein 75-68, while Kent Mitchell beat Dale Lloyd 84-46. Incumbent Jeffrey Brasel ran unopposed.

Voter turnout Tuesday sat below 9% in Houston and Wasilla and below 7% in Palmer.

Amy Bushatz

Amy Bushatz is a veteran journalist based in the Mat-Su covering Valley news for the ADN.