Short, Holst elected to Juneau School Board

Kevin Allen takes third in race for two open seats

School Board candidates Jeff Short, left, and Brian Holst enjoy their victory at the Assembly chambers on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

For the past week, school board candidate Jeff Short has been fighting a cold. On Election Day, he skipped the traditional campaign events for a recuperative nap.


Ask him how he’s feeling now, and he might break into a smile.

“Much better,” he said as preliminary results arrived Tuesday night.

In the race for Juneau school board, Short defeated fellow challenger Kevin Allen. Incumbent Brian Holst also won re-election to the board.

With 13 of 13 precincts reporting, Holst received 3,558 votes. Short had 2,666 and Allen had 1,574. There were 77 write-in votes.

Municipal Clerk Laurie Sica said about 1,500 absentee and questioned ballots remain to be counted. A preliminary count will take place Friday, with the official canvass to take place Tuesday. Given the margins between candidates, those votes are unlikely to change the results.

If 1,500 votes are added to the Election Day tally, boroughwide turnout will be about 27.3 percent, about 8 percent below the average since 1995.

Allen, who was a candidate in the 2016 school board race as well, vowed to stay involved with local education even after his defeat. Allen served as president of the University of Alaska Southeast student government, and on Election Day was occupied by a university exam just a few hours after a shift waving campaign signs in the predawn darkness.

“I’ll make my change in education somehow,” he said.

Asked why he lost, Allen said, “Preparation matters a lot. Perhaps I was not prepared enough.”

Holst, the incumbent school board president, waved campaign signs not far from Allen on the morning of Election Day, then worked his day job as executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council.

As the results came in, Holst walked over to Allen and clapped him on the shoulder.

“It was a good race,” Holst said. “I’m glad it was a contested race.”

According to figures from election day, Holst won all 13 of Juneau’s election precincts. Short finished second in every precinct, and Allen was third in every precinct. Allen’s closest performance was in Lemon Creek, where he was two votes behind Short for second.

• Contact reporter James Brooks at or call 523-2258.



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