Election brings new faces to Northwest leadership
There will be two new faces on the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly this year, following the borough's regular election Oct. 3.
Former School Board President Sandy Shroyer-Beaver replaces Walter G. Sampson to represent Kotzebue while Kirk Oviok Jr. takes over the seat held by Selawik's Tanya Ballot.
Assembly Vice President Lucy Nelson retained her seat representing Kotzebue after running unopposed.
Shroyer-Beaver ran a tight race against incumbent Sampson and Johnson Greene for Seat H. Sampson lost his seat with 559 votes to her 650. Greene came in third with 253 votes. Sampson led in Ambler, Noorvik and Selawik, while Shroyer-Beaver came out ahead in all the rest, including Kotzebue.
Oviok earned Seat E with 707 votes to the 665 earned by his opponent, Timothy Gavin Jr. Both were new candidates. Gavin took Ambler, Buckland, Deering, Kiana, Kobuk and Kotzebue, but Oviok's lead in Kivalina, Noorvik, Selawik and Shungnak were enough to push him ahead. The two candidates tied in Noatak.
As an unopposed candidate, Nelson took the vast majority of the votes for Seat G with 1,330 total in her favor. There were 37 write-ins for that seat.
There will also be new members on the Northwest Arctic Borough School Board with newcomers ousting incumbents as happened on the assembly.
Cindy (Smith) Fields will replace board Vice President Angela Washington, the incumbent who garnered fewer than half the number of votes her opponent did. Fields maintained a strong lead with 839 votes to Washington's 396. Nicole N. Stoops was third in that race with 219 votes. Fields led in all the villages except Buckland and Kivalina, which went to Washington by a narrow margin.
In the closest race of the election, Kathleen (Uhl) Sherman took Seat K by only a few votes over her opponent Jackie M. Hill. That seat has most recently been held by board Parliamentarian Erica Nelson, of Kotzebue, who did not run for re-election. Sherman ended the race with 532 votes to Hill's 516. Roberta Schaeffer Shrader came in third with 388. Hill took Ambler, Buckland, Kiana, Kobuk, Selawik and Shungnak. Sherman won by garnering more votes in Kivalina, Noatak, Noorvik and Kotzebue. However, Kotzebue, which is the town the seat represents, gave most of its votes to Shrader, who fell behind in all of the outlying villages.
Incumbent Treasurer Margaret Hansen retained her seat — Seat J — on the school board with 806 votes to Corina Kramer's 646. Kramer took Kivalina, Noatak, Noorvik and Shungnak, but Hansen took the rest along with nearly 100 more votes in Kotzebue, which pushed her into the lead.
Marie N. Greene will take over Seat G which was vacated by Sandy Shroyer-Beaver, who ran for and won a seat on the assembly. Greene ran unopposed and earned 1,284 votes. There were 57 write-ins for that seat.
In total, there were 58 special needs ballots and 74 question ballots, of which 52 were not included.
A total of 1,721 ballots were cast in this election, including absentee and question ballots. The borough has 4,352 registered voters, meaning turnout for this election hovered just below 40 percent.
These results were certified by the borough assembly following review by the canvass committee on Oct. 6.