Nick Moe, a write-in candidate for Assembly in West Anchorage, conceded Tuesday that a weekend hand-count of votes in his race showed Ernie Hall, the incumbent, is the winner.
He said his campaign tallied up all the numbers from the hand-count. "Overall, it looks like we'll still be a few votes short."
His campaign sent out a statement saying Moe called Hall to congratulate him.
Tuesday night, the Assembly certified the results of the election and swore in new and re-elected members.
The city clerk's office released hand-count results Tuesday afternoon.
They showed vote totals now stand at 4,298 for Hall to 3,745 for Moe, a difference of 553 votes.
As city clerk Barbara Jones made decisions during the Saturday hand-count on whether a ballot should be counted, one campaign or the other challenged a total of 239 of her decisions -- not enough to change the outcome.
The latest computer count showed total write-in votes of 3,978.
But in some cases, voters wrote in other names besides Moe. Or they voted for both Hall and Moe, invalidating the ballot.
Moe will not challenge the outcome in court, according to a written statement from his campaign.
"The clerk's office did a fantastic job of making sure every vote was counted and voter intent was honored," Moe said.
Hall, the Assembly chairman, was unopposed on the ballot. But Moe launched an aggressive write-in campaign in the last couple of weeks before the April 2 election.
Moe said he got into the race because he was upset that Hall, who was backed by an Assembly majority in his decision, cut off testimony in March on a controversial law that strips power from city unions. More people were waiting to testify when the Assembly voted to close the public hearing.
"We have lots to celebrate," he said Tuesday. "Every write-in vote was another message of support for the public process," he said.
Reach Rosemary Shinohara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4340
By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA
Alaska Dispatch Publishing