Filing Date Nears For City Election

Category: Local News
Created on Monday, 13 July 2020 16:03

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer

The filing period for candidates in the Oct. 6 municipal election will open next Monday.

The voters will elect a mayor, two Assembly members and two School Board members.

The filing period is July 20 through 5 p.m. Friday, August 7. Information packets for candidates will be available at the city clerk’s office at City Hall starting July 20, City Clerk Sara Peterson said.

Assembly members whose terms are expiring are Richard Wein, Steven Eisenbeisz and Mayor Gary Paxton.

The election will fill the seats on the School Board now held by appointees Andrew Hames and Blossom Twitchell. The two were appointed to replace Dionne Brady-Howard and Elias Erickson, who resigned from the board, and whose terms were ending this year.

Those filing for mayor and Assembly must have been a resident for a year before the election, and submit signatures of 25 registered Sitka voters. The residency required for the School Board is 30 days prior to the election, and 25 signatures of registered voters also are needed.

Paxton said he believes he will seek another two-year term as mayor. He is a former Sitka city administrator.

“First of all, presumptuously I think it’s a bad time to change leadership,” he said. “I know the details of issues, from the haulout to CARES to the budget.”

Paxton said he also has a good relationship with U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and state Sen. Bert Stedman.

“I also have a good relationship with city staff at a time when they are challenged with shortages,” he said. “I also think I still have enough energy and wit to help out.”

Wein said he is still considering seeking re-election to the Assembly but has ruled out another run for state House.

Eisenbeisz, who has served two consecutive terms on the Assembly, was not available today.

Andrew Hames said he hasn’t decided whether he will run for election to a full term on the School Board. Twitchell said she plans to run for a three-year term this October.

“The current board has been welcoming, and I have a strong belief that they have a great foundation,” Twitchell said today. “I’m happy to be part of the team.”

The deadline has passed for citizen-initiated ballot questions, but the Assembly has until July 28 to put issues on the ballot, Peterson said. At Tuesday’s regular meeting the Assembly will consider an ordinance to place an advisory question on the ballot relating to the Baranof statue.

Peterson said it’s too early to gauge the interest in this year’s city election, but she has received some queries from residents interested in running.