Mayor, 3-year assembly seats draw contested races

Two of the races on the Oct. 4 municipal election ballot are contested: There are two candidates for mayor and three candidates to fill two three-year terms on the borough assembly.

The other three races on the ballot — for port commission, a one-year school board term and two three-year school board seats — are all uncontested. Absent a surprising write-in turnout, the candidates on the ballot will win those elections.

Patty Gilbert and Terry Courson are competing to succeed Mayor Steve Prysunka, who decided not to seek reelection to a third term.

The mayor’s job is a two-year term.

Gilbert currently serves as vice mayor and previously served on the school board. Courson served on the assembly after winning a one-year term in October 2020. He did not seek reelection in 2021.

Alex Angerman, David Powell and Brittani Robbins are competing for three-year terms on the assembly — the top two vote-getters will win.

Powell is finishing a one-year term on the assembly. Angerman, the CARES Act coordinator at WCA, ran and lost for school board last year. Robbins, the chamber of commerce executive director, was elected to the school board last year.

Current school board member David Wilson is seeking reelection to another three-year term, which would be his third term on the board. Elizabeth Roundtree also filed for a three-year term on the board. She ran and lost in last year’s school board election.

Esther Ashton, tribal administrator at WCA, is the lone candidate for a one-year term on the school board.

School board incumbents Julia Ostrander and Jessica Whitaker did not file for reelection. Candidate filings closed Aug. 31.

Incumbent John Yeager and newcomer Winston Davies have filed for the two open seats on the port commission. The seats are three-year terms. Davies would replace Frank Roppel, who is not seeking reelection.

In addition to the races for mayor, assembly, school board and port commission, the ballot will ask voters three questions: Should Wrangell issue $3.5 million in bonds to repair the school buildings; should the borough issue $8.5 million in bonds to rehab and repair the Public Safety Building; and can the borough sell or lease the former sawmill property at 6-Mile that it purchased this summer.

Voter approval is required to sell or lease property worth more than $1 million; the borough paid $2.5 million for the land, looking to attract private developers for the property. The borough does not have any prospective developers ready to sign a deal, but the assembly decided to ask voters for permission in October to save time should a buyer come to the table.

Early voting in the election will open Sept. 19 at City Hall. The early voting polling place will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Election day voting will be held at the Nolan Center, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 4.


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