22 candidates in election that could shakeup Anchorage Assembly

The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage. (Staff photo)

22 candidates have filed to run for the Anchorage Assembly in the upcoming April election. The vote could have major implications for the body and it’s relationship with the mayor’s administration.

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The Assembly is technically non-partisan: no Democrat or Republican affiliations. But members’ individual politics can shape whether the 11-person body tilts right or left. And presently it leans liberal.

But six spots are up for election — more than half the total seats. And largely because of term limits, four of those races are totally open — Bill Evans of South Anchorage decided not to run for another term. If neither of the two incumbents hangs on to his position, a majority of members will be new once they’re sworn into office.

The Assembly’s ideological persuasion has major implications for both local and state politics, yet turnout in municipal elections tends to be extremely low. Last year it was just below 21 percent.

The current Assembly has had a smooth relationship with the liberal Berkowitz administration, a dynamic that could get rockier if several conservative candidates win seats.

Issues that have come before the Assembly in recent years include property and sales taxes, the city’s equal rights ordinance, capital projects, public safety programs, and the annual operating budget.

There’s a seat up for a vote in every city district, from Chugiak to Girdwood.

There are also two area-wide school board seats up for a vote.

The election is April 4th.