ASEA election leads to runoff for president

Posted: Friday, April 26, 2002

Alaska's largest state employees' union has completed its first round of elections, but a new president will not be picked until May 24.

Alaska State Employees Association President Ernest F. Thomas did not make it into the running to hold his position. None of the six candidates took a majority of the votes needed to win in the first round of elections.

Candidate Pat Morrow finished in the lead with 23 percent of the vote, just ahead of Barbara Karl, who took 21 percent. A runoff election will be held to determine which one will lead ASEA, which represents about 8,000 workers statewide, 2,000 of whom live in Juneau.

In the election, Alma Seward beat out incumbent John P. Roxburgh for the position of Southeast region representative, 153-110.

Runoff elections also will decide the positions for ASEA Northern region representative and Class 1 representative.

Although all positions have not been filled on the 11-member board, the results already are creating a stir within the organization.

In response to the election, ASEA Business Manager Chuck O'Connell announced his resignation April 8.

"I have worked for 30 years now as an employee advocate, and it is clear to me that the most recent officer election in our union has established an executive board that does not share my view on how our union must be managed," said a prepared statement from O'Connell.

Timothy Inklebarger can be reach at

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