A short line forms outside of Homer City Hall as people wait to vote in the regular municipal election on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A short line forms outside of Homer City Hall as people wait to vote in the regular municipal election on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

City council certifies election results

Ken Castner, Caroline Venuti and Rachel Lord will continue serving the city

All City of Homer incumbents won re-election in this year’s regular municipal election.

Homer Mayor Ken Castner and Homer City Council members Rachel Lord and Caroline Venuti will all continue their service to the city. They won re-election according to the final election results released by City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen on Monday evening. A canvass board met Monday afternoon to count the absentee, special needs and questioned ballots that still remained after the in-person ballots were counted last week on the Oct. 6 election night.

In the race for mayor, Castner took nearly 52% of the votes, while his challenger, current council member Donna Robertson Aderhold, took over 47%.

In the council race, Lord took more than 32% of the vote while Venuti collected about 31%. Walker came in third with 18.6% of the vote, and Hall had 17.5%.

There were 1,901 total votes cast in the city election, according to the official results. Of those votes, 1,038 were regular votes, 823 were absentee, 17 were special needs and 23 were questioned ballots. The absentee, special needs and questioned ballots were all counted at Homer City Hall by a canvass board on Monday. A small number of ballots submitted via email or fax were counted by hand.

With 5,206 total registered voters for the city of Homer as of Sept. 6 of this year, the election had a voter turnout of 37%.

The Homer City Council certified the results of the election during their Monday night meeting, and the reelected mayor and members of the council were sworn into office at the end of the meeting. They all attended the meeting via Zoom.

At the meeting, Castner congratulated Lord and Venuti on their reelection.

“It was really telling that you each got over 1,000 votes,” he said. “

Aderhold, in turn, congratulated Castner along with her fellow council members on being re-elected, and said she’s looking forward to continuing to work with them over the next year of her council term.

“I know that the clerks and the election workers have been working very hard and very diligently and (I) very much appreciate all the work that they have done for a very good election,” Aderhold said.

Aderhold said she was overwhelmed with the support she received in running for mayor.

“I just feel so much love and appreciation for this community,” she said. “I just wanted to say that publicly.”

Venuti noted that “a lot of energy goes into running” for local office, and thanked everyone who ran for a seat in city government.

Lord, too, congratulated Castner and Venuti.

“I’ll echo the thanks to the voters for putting faith in me and all of us for another term,” she said. “I’m really honored to be able to continue to sit at the table, and this is a volunteer job that, you know, we all get to take turns at if we have such interest in doing so. So, you know, I would also echo the thanks to everybody who ran for seats and hope that people continue to consider running for seats every year because it is a really important part of functional local government.”

Reached by phone, Hall said he enjoyed the process of running for city council.

“And I met a tremendous number of very interesting people,” he said.

Walker congratulated both Venuti and Lord on “an excellent job of rallying their troops to the ballot box.”

“I still believe the council does not represent our community as a whole, in a balanced way,” he said via email. “I just hope the new/old council doesn’t miss any opportunities to grow responsibly, and use our resources wisely.”

City of Homer election results

Mayor

Ken Castner: 969

Donna Robertson Aderhold: 884

Write in votes: 11

City Council

Rachel Lord: 1,140

Caroline Venuti: 1,106

Raymond Walker: 656

George Hall: 618

Write in votes: 10

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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