People hold signs at the intersection of Main Street Loop and Kenai Spur Highway on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

People hold signs at the intersection of Main Street Loop and Kenai Spur Highway on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Charlie Pierce leading in borough mayor race

In the race for Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor, Charlie Pierce is leading the vote count after election night with 5,777 of the votes cast.

Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings is in second place with 3,531 votes. Troy Nightingale is in third with 363 votes.

The Clarion spoke to 15 voters in the City of Kenai on Election Day, with eight saying they voted for Farnsworth-Hutchings and six casting their votes for Pierce.

People who supported Pierce said that they either liked him as a person or supported his policies.

Don St. John, of Kenai, said he liked what Pierce had done in the last three years and wanted to see him continue.

Those who voted for Farnsworth-Hutchings were looking for a change.

“I voted for Linda because I think Charlie is too divisive,” Rebecca Bezdecny, of Kenai, said Tuesday.

Pierce said Tuesday night that he had been watching the election numbers with his family and campaign team and was “humbled” by the results.

“I feel very good about it, and very appreciative,” Pierce said. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I believe there are more opportunities than challenges, and I’m glad I’m here to do the job.”

When asked if he felt confident that the results would stand after all the absentee ballots were counted, Pierce said the numbers were in his favor.

“We’re looking at about a 60/40 split right now, so she’d (Farnsworth-Hutchings) have to pick up most of those votes in order to win,” Pierce said. “I think I’ve got most of those votes.”

Also at the borough level, Lane Chesley was elected to represent Homer on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. A former member of the Homer City Council, Chesley ran unopposed and received 848 votes as of Tuesday night.

As of Tuesday night, the borough had received 3,538 absentee ballots that will need to be counted, according to Deputy Borough Clerk Michele Turner. The official election results will be certified on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Reach Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com. Megan Pacer contributed to this article. Reach her at mpacer@homernews.com.

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