Though voters (18.36% turnout) turned down two initiatives that were inspired by petitions submitted by GOP-supported groups, a right-leaning candidate, Lynne Gattis, narrowly beat incumbent populist reformer Myrl Thompson for School Board Seat G. Though Gattis and Thompson seemed a lot alike in their performances during voter forums held in the Valley this fall, Gattis now owes her allegiance to a barely disguised, GOP-funded ad campaign on her behalf, which helped tremendously in raising her profile, compared to the well-known and fairly popular Thompson.
The two important initiatives that were soundly rejected were in support of a strong-mayor form of Borough government, that would have diminished the authority of the Borough Manager and of planning agencies; and in support of exempting elected officials in the Mat-Su Borough from stringent ethics requirements.
Tea Party-endorsed George Rauscher was beat by the pragmatic Warren Keogh for Assembly District 1's seat. But in Palmer, the ill-advised entry into the race by meteoric, yet erratic activist, Kevin Brown cost the left and center the mayor's seat, as Brown's entry split the left and moderate vote between him and former School Board chair and steadfast community organizer, Mike Chmielewski. Together, Brown and Chmielewski took 47% of the vote. The seat went to right-wing shill, DeLena Johnson, who garnered less than 42%.
One commenter at today's Anchorage Daily News article on the Valley elections characterized the Palmer race: