At 8 a.m., the City Clerk’s Office will begin accepting the nominating petitions of candidates for this October’s citywide elections, effectively kicking off Juneau’s campaign season.
Juneau voters will elect three new members of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and three members of the Juneau School District’s Board of Education, more commonly known as the school board, to three-year terms on Oct. 2.
In order to file for election to the Assembly, candidates must turn in 25 signatures from qualified voters in Juneau.
“We encourage people to get additional signatures, because sometimes they’re not legible, sometimes (signatories) put a P.O. box instead of a residence address — and it has to list their residence address — so oftentimes people will come in with 40 to 50 signatures on their nominating petition,” said Beth McEwen, deputy city clerk.
Assembly candidates also must be Juneau residents for at least one year prior to Election Day.
School board candidates only have a 30-day residency requirement, but under CBJ code, they cannot be school district employees, nor state legislators. They have the same signature requirement as Assembly candidates.
All candidates must turn in copies of the financial disclosure form they are required to complete for the Alaska Public Offices Commission in addition to their nominating petitions, McEwen said.
The Assembly’s seats are apportioned geographically, with three seats for District 1, three seats for District 2 and three areawide seats, including that of the mayor.
Candidates for District 1 must reside within the area it covers, which includes downtown Juneau, Douglas Island, Lemon Creek and the area around Juneau International Airport.
District 2 candidates must live in the Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay, the Mendenhall Peninsula, or another part of the city and borough included in the district.
This year, two people have already declared their intention to run for the District 1 seat being vacated by Deputy Mayor David G. Stone.
Paul Nowlin of Lemon Creek and Loren Jones of Douglas both filed letters of intent with APOC, a necessary step in setting up a campaign for office in the state, earlier this summer.
Both said last month they plan to file with the city clerk’s office on the same day the filing period opens.
While Stone is termed-out this year, having served on the Assembly since 2003, it only became known publicly that the District 2 seat would be open in October two weeks ago, when Assembly member Ruth Danner announced she would not seek a second term.
Retired police captain Jerry Nankervis declared himself a candidate for Danner’s seat the same day. He has also filed his letter of intent with APOC.
“I will be down there tomorrow,” said Nankervis Thursday of filing at City Hall. “I’ve got over 25 (signatures), but I’m going to go get a few more this evening.”
No other candidates have declared for District 2 as of Thursday evening.
At least one former Assembly member is seeking a return to city politics this year. Merrill Sanford, who served from 2002 until 2011, is running for mayor. He made his intentions known in March, filed with APOC last month and said Thursday he intends to file with the city clerk’s office in the morning.
While Sanford is the only person so far to get in the race for mayor, he said he expects to draw at least one opponent.
“I would think that somebody would step up to the plate and run against me,” Sanford said. “It would be nice if it didn’t happen, but it doesn’t necessarily work out that way all the time.”
Whether Sanford is in a contested election or runs unopposed, he said he intends to get out on the campaign trail and present his views to the public.
“I’ll go to all the different functions even if I don’t have an opponent,” said Sanford.
On the school board side, Andrea Story, the board’s vice president, said in June she would run again. She filed her letter of intent with APOC last month.
Mark Choate said Thursday he will not run for reelection to the board. Phyllis Carlson, the other school board member eligible for reelection this year, could not be reached about her plans.
McEwen said she cannot estimate how many candidates will file.
“We never know. We hope there’s at least a nominee for every seat, but we never know, and it is hard to predict any of that,” McEwen said. “It’s always nice when there’s at least more candidates than there are seats, so that you have a race in each one of them.”
Candidates have until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 to file for the October ballot. They can file at any time during City Hall’s business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, before then.
• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.