City Mayor Lew Williams III has won re-election. Even after the Canvass Board meets Wednesday to count the nearly 300 absentee, special needs and questioned ballots, it appears that he will remain in his elected seat.
The city mayor position was the only seat on Ketchikan’s ballot with more than one candidate. Challenger Lewis Armey Jr. has sought the city mayor position before without success, and has run for borough mayor, again without winning.
Lew Williams III won easily, garnering 599 votes to Armey’s 110, according to the unofficial results.
Williams said he’s pleased to continue his work as mayor. His priorities will include the planned multi-million-dollar renovation to the city-owned hospital building, along with other projects, including more hydroelectric capacity.
“I’m happy to see us continue to work with power. What are we going to do with Whitman? Are we going to work with Metlakatla? Are we going to work with Mahoney through SEAPA? There’s a lot of different angles,” he said. “Power is important. You’ve got to be looking to the future constantly so we can keep this low cost hydro online so we’re not burning the costly oil. That’s another biggie, and it’s going to be a topic for the next three years at least.”
Also on the ballot in Ketchikan was a $5.5 million bond proposition to pay for school facility projects. The bond initiative passed easily with 810 voting yes and 403 voting no.
Borough officials say those projects all have been approved for a state 70-percent reimbursement program, so the local impact will be far less than $5.5 million. Officials have said that local taxes will not be affected.
The other eight candidates for office in Ketchikan all ran uncontested. For Borough Assembly, Jim Van Horn will join the Assembly, and incumbent Todd Phillips will retain his seat.
For School Board, newcomers Colleen Scanlon and Ralph Beardsworth will join the board, and incumbents Michelle O’Brien and Stephen Bradford will remain in their seats.
And for the Ketchikan City Council, incumbents Bob Sivertsen and DeAnn Karlson both will continue to serve.
According to the unofficial results, 15 percent of registered voters in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough showed up at the polls on Tuesday. Saxman had the highest turnout, with 36 percent. That pans out to about 90 of that community’s 270 voters.
There was a tie for the lowest turnout. Ketchikan No. 1, at Schoenbar Middle School; and North Tongass No. 1 each had 12 percent. In total, 1,272 of Ketchikan’s 10,065 registered voters participated in the municipal election.