Charlie Pierce is poised take the helm at the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the next three years, according to unofficial mayoral runoff election results.
Pierce led the mayoral runoff race after the close of polls Tuesday night, with 51.6 percent favoring him over Linda Hutchings, who took 48.4 percent of the vote. With all precincts reporting, Pierce had 3,509 votes to 3,283 for Hutchings, a 226-vote difference.
Absentee by mail and questioned ballots have yet to be counted.
After the Oct. 3 election Pierce and Hutchings emerged as the top two candidates, with Pierce taking about 38 percent of the vote and Hutchings taking about 31 percent in the first round. A third candidate, Dale Bagley, took about 29 percent of the vote. Under borough code, one candidate has to receive more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright, or the top two candidates go to the polls again for a runoff.
Traffic at polling sites was slow throughout Tuesday, according to election workers at various sites around the central Kenai Peninsula and in Homer. A wet layer of snow slicking the roads left polling places relatively quiet before noon — around 10 a.m., the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex site had only counted 31 regular ballots, and the Kalifornsky Beach Road fire station had only counted about 71 regular ballots by midmorning. By midafternoon, the Old Carrs Mall in Kenai site had registered a little more than 200 regular ballots.
For more, visit http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2017-10-24/pierce-leads-run.