Berkowitz declared victory and marched into Election Central at the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage just before 10pm, when it was clear he had a sizable lead over rival Amy Demboski.
An hour later, with 98% of votes counted, Berkowitz had 59% of the vote to Demboski’s 41%.
“We had a message that was very positive,” Berkowitz said of his strong returns. “When you appeal to people’s better angels you’re going to get a better response.”
Berkowitz will begin assembling a transition team as he prepares to assume office on July 1st.
“Every department will pepare a report that highlights the issues they’re working on, maybe the challenges they’re facing so that he’ll be well briefed coming into office,” said current Mayor Dan Sullivan.
Demboski’s communications manager, David Boyle, confirmed by phone that she had conceded the race to Berkowitz.
The runoff election was necessary because no candidate won 45% of the vote in the April 7 election.
With just under 30% of eligible voters coming to the polls, the runoff election saw a higher turnout than the April election.