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Today is last day for municipal candidates to file

After 4:30 p.m., candidates on ballot are set

Posted: August 13, 2012 - 12:03am

This is it, Juneau: any person who wants to appear on the ballot as a candidate for either the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly or the Juneau School District’s Board of Education this October has until 4:30 p.m. Monday to drop off his or her nominating petition at the city clerk’s office.

As of the close of business Friday, three candidates have been certified for school board and four candidates have been certified for Assembly, including one candidate for mayor, former Assemblymember Merrill Sanford.

The only incumbent from either body to have filed for reelection this year is Andrea Story, vice president of the school board.

Both Mayor Bruce Botelho and Deputy Mayor David G. Stone, who represents District 1 on the Assembly, are termed out this year after sitting on the Assembly for three consecutive terms. Assemblymember Ruth Danner was eligible to run again, but opted against it.

The only Assembly race to have drawn multiple candidates so far is the contest for Stone’s seat. Second-time candidate Loren Jones and political newcomer Paul Nowlin have both filed for the District 1 seat.

Meanwhile, Sanford has the mayoral race to himself and Jerry Nankervis, a former Juneau Police Department captain, is the sole certified candidate for Danner’s District 2 seat.

Three candidates have filed for school board, including the incumbent Story. State employee Michelle Johnston and clinical psychologist Destiny Sargeant also put in their papers last week.

School board member Mark Choate announced before filing opened that he would not seek a third term. His fellow board member Phyllis Carlson has not filed, either, for what would be her fourth term on the board.

It is not unusual to see a flurry of last-minute filing as the end of the period approaches, City Clerk Laurie Sica said.

“People want to see, you know, who the competition is,” said Sica. “I think it’s pretty typical that people wait until the last minute.”

Sica added, “It’s a big job, so I don’t blame people for wanting to give it a considered amount of time to decide.”

Twenty-five signatures from qualified Juneau voters are required for a candidate to gain ballot access.

But hopefuls for office who miss the filing deadline do have another potential avenue — a write-in candidacy, which relies on voters writing the name of the candidate on a blank ballot line and filling in the bubble next to it.

“There was one time when Sally Rue on the school board ran a write-in candidacy and she won, and it was a contested race,” said Sica, referring to the 1992 election in which Rue received more votes than any other candidate, despite not having her name on the ballot.

Last year, Sean O’Brien was elected to the school board as a write-in candidate, but that situation was unusual. Two school board seats were up for election, and only one school board candidate was certified on the ballot.

Write-in candidates have until Sept. 27 to file a letter of intent with the City Clerk’s Office. If they do not do so by then, Sica said, they are not eligible for election.

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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