Some fresh faces and familiar challengers are angling for local elected office in Ketchikan. The campaign season for the October 6 municipal election got underway as candidates handed in their paperwork Monday.
Four Ketchikan City Council seats — that’s a majority of the city’s elected body — are up for grabs this fall. Three of those seats are currently held by Dick Coose, Dave Kiffer and Mark Flora.
Coose has officially thrown his hat in the ring for another three-year term. And in an email to KRBD, longtime city and borough elected official Kiffer says he’s also planning to file for re-election. It’s not clear whether Flora will seek another term.
They’ll face challenges from at least two newcomers: jewelry shop owner Jai Mahtani and tourism businesswoman Abby Bradberry.
The fourth seat up for grabs in October is currently held by Emily Chapel, an investigator with the state public defender’s office. Chapel was appointed to fill the council seat left by the late Ketchikan Daily News publisher Lew Williams, who resigned as he battled cancer late last year.
Chapel said in an email Tuesday she’s not planning to seek another term on the council.
On the borough side, some familiar challengers will return for another shot at a seat on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly.
Ketchikan Public Utilities electrical engineering manager Jeremy Bynum is taking another crack at a Borough Assembly seat after losing to Austin Otos and David Landis last fall. And retired South Tongass Fire Chief Sheen Davis has also filed for another run for borough assembly. She ran unsuccessfully in 2015.
Assembly member A.J. Pierce is the only incumbent so far to file for re-election. Assembly member Susan Pickrell says she won’t seek another term, and assembly member Alan Bailey says he’s on the fence.
And, finally, four of seven Ketchikan School Board seats are in play this fall. Incumbents Diane Gubatayao, Paul Robbins, Jr. and Tom Heutte have each said they’re planning to run for another term.
Parent Ali Ginter filed Tuesday to challenge Gubatayao and Robbins for two three-year school board seats. As of Tuesday evening, Heutte is the only candidate in a separate race for two one-year seats on the board.
Leslie Becker, who won a one-year school board term in a crowded field last October, says she won’t run again — she’s instead challenging independent Rep. Dan Ortiz for his seat in the state House of Representatives.
This story has been updated