Two people have filed to challenge Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward in the Oct. 5 election, while the lists of candidates for the Borough Assembly, Board of Education, Fairbanks City Council and more are also slowly growing.
The deadline to file for local office at the borough, city of Fairbanks and the city of North Pole is close of business on Thursday.
Robert Shields, who worked last year as a canvasser for Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Al Gross, and Chris Ludtke, a blaster at Fort Knox Gold Mine, are on track to challenge Ward, a landlord, contractor and former mayor of North Pole who is seeking a second term as mayor of the borough.
Savannah Fletcher, Native law staff attorney at Alaska Legal Services Corp. and a member of the borough Planning Commission, has filed for assembly Seat A, which is currently held by Marna Sanford, who said she plans to leave public office at the end of her term.
Patricia Silva, a motivational speaker and life coach who was the Interior coordinator for the campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, has filed for assembly Seat F, which is held by Liz Lyke, who also is not planning to run for re-election.
Former Assemblyman Lance Roberts, an analyst with Golden Valley Electric Association, has drawn a challenge from school counselor Kristan Kelly for assembly Seat G, which is being vacated by Leah Berman Williams.
Three people have filed for two seats on the Board of Education.
Borough records show that Erin Morotti, executive officer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Signers’ Business Office, has filed for a second term. She holds Seat A.
Chrya Sanderson, former president of the Education Support Staff Association, is running for re-election to Seat B and has drawn a challenge from Jeffrey Rentzel, a retired juvenile justice officer.
Two people have filed for two different seats on the Interior Gas Utility Board of Directors.
Jack Wilbur and Bob Shefchik have both previously served on the panel. Wilbur is treasurer for the company Design Alaska. Shefchik, who held top administrative positions at the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the school district and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is retired. His LinkedIn profile says he now offers “free advice on hunting, fishing and politics.”
The list of hopefuls for the Fairbanks City Council also includes some familiar names.
According to the city’s unofficial candidate filing list, former City Councilman and Fairbanks Mayor Jerry Cleworth, who is an owner of Alaska Rare Coins, is challenging Shoshana Kun, chief operating officer at Spear LLC, who is seeking re-election to council Seat A.
June Rogers, a business owner and former executive director of the Fairbanks Arts Association, is also seeking re-election and has so far drawn one opponent, Jonathan Bagwill, for Seat B. Bagwill is a pastor at Apostolics of Fairbanks.
At the city of North Pole, where voters will elect a mayor and two council members, Councilman Thomas McGhee has filed to run for mayor and Councilman David Skipps has filed for a second term on the North Pole Council.
McGhee owns Cherokee Riders, a drivers’ training school. Skipps works as a foreman for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities in Fairbanks.
A qualified candidate for a city or borough office must be a registered Alaska voter and have a year of residency, though school board seats have just a 30-day residency requirement. Financial disclosures must be made. The filing fee is $25. All local offices are nonpartisan.
Terms of local office are for three years, and almost all local leaders receive a monthly stipend.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMborough.