In the District 9 Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly race between two political novices, Willy Dunne, 60, handily defeated Dawson Slaughter, 25, with 56.26 percent to 43.51 percent of the vote in unofficial results.
Dunne, of Fritz Creek, led in all precincts except Slaughter’s hometown of Anchor Point, where Slaughter won with 68.56 percent.
In the other lower peninsula borough race, incumbent school board member Elizabeth Downing ran unopposed and took 98 percent of the votes.
While new to elected office, Dunne has served on boards and commissions and as a 28-year Homer resident is widely known. He credited that experience with his election. Dunne also said he thought his message resonated better with voters.
“I feel like I was much more willing to listen and compromise with diverse groups and he was much more rigid with his opinions,” Dunne said.
“We differed on quite a few things, but we also agreed on a few things as well,” Slaughter said. “For him (Dunne) representing this district, I do want to talk to him. I look forward to a good relationship. … I wish him the best of luck.”
Slaughter overcame a teenage battle with multiple sclerosis and said earlier a positive attitude helped him overcome that. That attitude carried through into his campaign.
“It was a good run. We didn’t get the numbers, but that’s OK,” Slaughter said. “It’s not always going to go the way you want to. I think the numbers I did get for running my first campaign and my age, it was a good run.”
Dunne said he tried to reach out to the diverse precincts of the 3,400-square mile District 9.
“I contacted folks across the bay and in Nanwalek. I had support in Seldovia and Nanwalek. I had campaign signs all the way from Anchor Point to the end of East End Road. I seemed to have pretty wide support from all the precincts, all the communities.”
Slaughter called his campaign a learning experience.
“I’m not discouraged at all,” he said. “It was super fun. I got to meet a lot of good people.”
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