Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Election seats Thomas, Rogers and Sincerny


October 3, 2019

Voters Tuesday elected Gabe Thomas and Paul Rogers to serve on the Haines Borough Assembly, according to unofficial results. The third highest in-person vote getter, Zephyr Sincerny, may fill a third vacant seat for a one-year term.

On Oct. 8, the seated assembly will tally 72 additional absentee, unverified and special ballot votes to verify counts, which could change whether Rogers or Sincerny will officially be the third-highest vote getter.

Thomas won by a total of 572 in-person votes, more than 100 votes ahead of competitors. Rogers totaled 467 in-person votes, Sincerny 429.

Voter turnout was up from last year to 46 percent, a number that will rise after additional votes are counted Tuesday. Three hundred and eighty-five residents voted early, the most in more than 15 years for regular elections.

“I’m super happy that we had a voter turnout like we did,” Thomas said. “I’m really happy with the assembly right now, I think we’ve got a good balance. It’s a very good representation of the community right now.”

“I am very pleased with the election results,” Rogers said. “I am also really happy Gabe came in first.”

Sincerny said he looks forward to receiving input from community members on borough issues. “Thank you to all of the candidates for the camaraderie and professional campaigns,” he said. “Congrats to Gabe and Paul.”

Candidates Sean Gaffney and Sally McGuire lost with 320 and 328 in-person votes, respectively.

“It was extremely interesting to learn so much about important things that are going on in the valley,” McGuire said. “Thanks to all who supported me, and answered my many questions.”

Voters Tuesday rejected adding an additional 2 percent sales tax on alcoholic beverages by about 250 votes, but accepted imposing a 2 percent sales tax on marijuana products.

Despite an error in ballot language in the description of the effect of a no vote on marijuana taxation, the result was not compromised, said borough clerk Alekka Fullerton. “Since proposition one (on alcohol) failed and proposition two passes, the typo on the description of the effect of the no vote on marijuana made no difference to the result,” Fullerton said. “There’s no confusion about what a yes vote means.”

Lindsey Dixon, Shelly Sloper and Tracy Wirak were each elected to three uncontested seats on the Haines Borough school board.

The election canvass is set for Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the regular assembly meeting.


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