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Alaska school board elections see majority of candidates unopposed Oct 02, 2013

Alaska

By Alex Schaffer

Elections took place on October 1 in three of Alaska's largest school districts. Five of the nine elections were won by candidates who ran unopposed, with incumbents Sue Hull, Lynn Hohl, Susan Pougher and Edith-Helen Hilts earning three-year terms on their respective school boards and newcomer Wendy C. Dominique earning a one-year seat on the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board.[1] In the Matanuska-Sustina Borough School District Seat G election, Ray Michaelson defeated incumbent appointee David Cheezem.[2] Voter turnout was high in the Fairbanks North Star and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs, but voters cast fewer than 2,000 ballots total in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Only a third of the campaigns were close, with two elections featuring newcomers narrowly defeating incumbents. In the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Seat D election, Allyson Lambert, a retired Judge Advocate General officer in the US Navy, won a close election against incumbent Charlie Leonelli and fellow challenger April Johnson. Lambert won the election by a margin of just over 200 votes. In the Matanuska-Sustina Borough School District Seat F race, Donna Dearman defeated three other candidates, including incumbent Neal Lacy, in an election that separated Dearman and Lacy by less than 200 votes.[3] The closest race came in the low turnout Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, District 1 election, where Daniel J. Castimore defeated D. Shawn Hutchings by just 53 votes.

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