Political newcomer Storm Hansen-Cavasos has unseated Homer City Council incumbent Shelly Erickson by seven votes, according to the final election results after the Canvass Board met today.
Hansen-Cavasos, who was trailing behind Erickson by 26 votes after the polls closed on Tuesday, ended up winning the seat on the council after 262 absentee, special needs and questioned ballots were counted and the election tallied by the Canvass Board on Friday at Homer City Hall.
In all, Hansen-Cavasos garnered 663 votes, just seven more than Erickson’s 656. Joey Evensen, who led by a wide margin for the other city council seat on Tuesday, secured his win with a total of 922 votes according to the final results.
Incumbent Tom Stroozas came in fourth with 498 total votes after absentee ballots were counted. There were a total of 14 write-in votes.
Hansen-Cavasos said she’s grateful for the support she’s gotten from Homer voters and is excited to get started on the council, learning the ropes.
“I’m pretty excited,” she said. “I was not quite sure; it was pretty close.”
Hansen-Cavasos ran as a lifelong Homer resident with a special interest in youth services. She works at Homer Medical Center and has been involved for years with the local youth wrestling program, Popeye Wrestling. She has also served as the Women’s Director for Alaska USA Wrestling.
Hansen-Cavasos said the campaign was overwhelming at times because so much was new to her, but that she does well with a challenge and tried her best.
“Whatever the results would have been today, I have learned so much and been reunited with people from my past,” she said.
She said the process “changed things for me,” and that, if she hadn’t won, she had planned on vying for a seat on the Parks, Art, Recreation and Culture Committee.
She looks forward to working with the other council members, she said, and has gratitude to the community for supporting her.
“Thank you so very much,” she said to the voters. “The boost of confidence and the support has been amazing and makes my heart burst. It’s been pretty spectacular.”
During Erickson’s time on the council, she spearheaded the extension of Greatland Street and worked with the council during the long process of arriving at a plan for the new police station, among other work.
“I just appreciate everybody that supported me,” she said of the election.
Evensen and Hansen-Cavasos will each serve for a 3-year term.
Proposition A, which asked voters whether they wanted to prohibit single-use plastic bags from being given to shoppers within city limits, passed in Tuesday’s election. After absentee votes were counted, it had a total of 946 yes votes and 497 no votes.
Voter turnout in Homer for this election was 29%.
The Canvass Board results will be certified by the council at its regular meeting which starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 at Homer City Hall. Evensen and Hansen-Cavasos will be sworn in at the end of the meeting.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.