Powell, Johnson say their farewells

Request for recount in Bush-Johnson race must be filed by Thursday

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Juneau Assembly meeting was a sentimental one Monday, as it was the last regular meeting for Assembly member Jim Powell and perhaps Jeannie Johnson.

After serving nine years, Powell is termed out this month. Johnson, who ran for re-election, is 42 votes behind her challenger, Jeff Bush, in an official tally.

Powell and Johnson took advantage of the Monday meeting to express their gratitude to serve and both choked with tears while speaking.

Powell said he wanted to assure the public that the city is well-served.

"It was in good hands before I came and it will continue to run well," Powell said. "Yes, we make mistakes. However, sometimes that is the price for taking a risk and challenging yourself."

Powell said he enjoyed serving on the Assembly because it gave him an opportunity to help the community.

"You get to build a rink and roads in a relatively short period of time," Powell said. "You get to make a difference."

Powell said he will be busy with his new volunteer job as executive director of North/North Network, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the United Nations. He will work on environmental and educational research projects in China and Russia.

In her farewell statement, Johnson said she might consider requesting a recount if the gap between her votes and Bush's turns out to be less than 100. An election board will review all precinct results and run questioned ballots this afternoon. Election results will be certified if all the numbers are accurate.

"Unless something phenomenal happens, I am anticipating the election will be certified with Jeff being declared the winner," Johnson said. "If Bush's lead holds, I would like to congratulate him and ask him to work for all of you as I have these past three years."

Johnson or 10 qualified voters can request a recount before Thursday, the deadline to challenge the results.

New Assembly members will be sworn in Oct. 20.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.

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