Pierce leading in mayoral runoff

  • Wayne Aderhold, right, waves signs for Linda Hutchings on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 24, 2017, in Homer, Alaska, on Pioneer Avenue. To his left are Marjorie Ringer, with umbrella, Lani Raymond and Ron Keffer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News)
  • Lou Pontious waves signs for Charlie Pierce on Tuesday afternon, Oct. 24, 2017, in Homer, Alaska, on the Homer Bypass near Lake Street. (Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News)
  • A car passes supporters waving signs for borough mayoral candidate Charlie Pierce at the intersection of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. Kenai Peninsula voters chose between Pierce and candidate Linda Hutchings for the office of borough mayor on Tuesday. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
  • A man waves a sign supporting Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidate Linda Hutchings from the median on the Sterling Highway near the intersection with the Kenai Spur Highway on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. Kenai Peninsula voters chose between Hutchings and candidate Charlie Pierce in the mayoral runoff election Tuesday. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
  • Snow clings to a sign marking a polling place at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. Kenai Peninsula voters chose between borough mayoral candidates Linda Hutchings and Charlie Pierce in the Tuesday runoff election. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

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.

 

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