Council write-in campaign falters after eligibility issue

Council write-in campaign falters after eligibility issue

A brief Homer City Council write-in campaign that started last week ended Monday after the candidate, Connor Schmidt, discovered he had not changed his voter registration in time to be eligible.

Schmidt, 25, had considered officially filing in August to run for one of two, 3-year open seats on the council. When Deb Lowney filed, he stayed out of the race, but put his name back in last Friday after Lowney announced she would not actively campaign. Lowney withdrew after the death of her niece, Shay Lowney, and increased family responsibilities in caring for her niece’s three children.

Because Schmidt missed the filing deadline, he had to run as a write-in candidate. Incumbent council members Donna Aderhold and Heath Smith are the only candidates actively campaigning.

“It’s not much of a race when there are two people running for two seats,” Schmidt said in an interview early Monday about why he decided to try a write-in campaign. “It gives people the chance to vote for another person.”

Those hopes got dashed when Schmidt found out he had not changed his voter registration in time to meet candidate qualification requirements. Under city code, to be eligible for city council, a candidate must be a qualified voter and “is registered to vote in State elections at a residence address within the municipality at least 30 days before the municipal election at which the person seeks to vote.”

Schmidt has been a city resident for two years, he said in a statement sent to the Homer News on Tuesday, and believed he was eligible.

“Much to my dismay, I had a slight oversight and did not change my voting registration to be within city limits in time to be eligible for city council this year,” he wrote.

At age 25, if elected, Schmidt would have been one of the youngest Homer council members ever. He said he wanted to run to represent younger Homer residents and the issues they face, especially affordable housing and cost of living.

Originally from Colorado, Schmidt first visited Homer in June 2016, and decided he wanted to stay by August. He works as the peer education director at the R.E.C. Room and previously worked at South Peninsula Haven House organizing the Green Dot Homer campaign.

In his statement, Schmidt said, “I cannot be more thankful to the Homer community that has inspired me and empowered me to continue working for our town. The overwhelming amount of support that I received over the past month as I’ve wrestled with my decision to run has left me in awe.”

Schmidt said he plans on further expanding his civic experience by applying for a city commission.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read