By Leigh Armstrong
Turnout was down significantly from the special election in March to fill the mayor’s job and last year’s regular municipal balloting as Skagway voters Oct. 1 reelected Orion Hanson to the borough assembly and put Dustin Stone into the second assembly seat.
The March election drew 464 voters to the polls, up from 428 in the October 2018 general election, but turnout Oct. 1 was down to 363 voters, according to municipal tallies.
Hanson received 234 votes and Stone 229 for the two assembly seats. Samuel Bass came in third for the two three-year terms, winning 166 votes.
Hanson expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the community again during the Oct. 3 borough assembly meeting, while welcoming Stone.
“I will continue to put my best foot forward and work hard,” Hanson said. “Dustin, we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Stone, a year-round resident of Skagway since 2012, has worked for the Skagway News, the Elks and currently the National Park Service. This will be his first time as an elected official.
Stone has taken the place of Tim Cochran, who chose not to seek reelection after serving nine years.
Assembly members said Stone will be missed.
“You could always tell that your heart and your energy, everything about you, was for the good Skagway and that was the determining factor in your votes,” Assemblymember Dan Henry said of his former colleague.
Cochran said his departure from the assembly will be bittersweet, but he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and new dog.
“I’m kind of sad to go, but it’s been a rewarding nine years on the assembly and I will still come to the meetings. I’ll still be involved,” he said.
Mayor Andrew Cremata ran unopposed for his first full-term as mayor and received 274 votes for the two-year term. He was elected in March to finish the term of Monica Carlson, who was struck by a bus and died last December while visiting Washington, D.C.
On the school board, Jaime Bricker retained her seat with 299 votes and Chezare Leipold won election with 276 votes. There were no other candidates for the two seats. School board members serve for three years.
All of the newly elected officials took office on Oct. 7.