Incumbent South Anchorage Assemblyman John Weddleton concedes to challenger Randy Sulte

a person waves while holding a sign on a snowy day
John Weddleton campaigns with supporters Tuesday morning at the corner of O’Malley Road and Old Seward Highway. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Assembly incumbent John Weddleton on Friday conceded his reelection bid to challenger Randy Sulte. 

In a statement, Weddleton said it’s clear from current election results that Sulte is the victor.

“The seat I have served from for six years belongs to South Anchorage,” Weddleton said. “I respect the decision of the voters to give that opportunity to Randy.”

Sulte was part of a slate of conservative candidates that campaigned together and were endorsed by Mayor Dave Bronson to challenge the more progressive Assembly and school board incumbents. The latest election results released Friday night showed Sulte ahead of Weddleton by 453 votes. 

In his concession statement, Weddlton said he called Sulte to congratulate him.

“The path of my life has included public service for decades,” he said. “I do not plan on changing that though I may lay low until I finish restoring a couple motorcycles and go on a long delayed honeymoon.”

More than 62,000 ballots were counted by Friday night.

Other Assembly incumbents held their leads, with East Anchorage member Forrest Dunbar ahead of Stephanie Taylor by 14 points and West Anchorage member Kameron Perez-Verdia ahead of Liz Vazquez by 12 points. Midtown Anchorage Assembly member Meg Zaletel is also ahead of her challenger Kathy Henslee by a smaller margin: four points, 462 votes. 

Conservative Kevin Cross, who’s running to replace Crystal Kennedy as an Assembly member from Eagle River Chugiak, holds a large lead over his closest challenger Gretchen Wehmhoff by 27 points. 

Anchorage School Board incumbents Margo Bellamy and Kelly Lessens are comfortably ahead of their challengers Mark Anthony Cox and Rachel Ries, respectively, leading by nine points each.

City election officials will continue releasing results on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. Election results will be certified on April 26.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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