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Deadline to register as a write-in candidate for Bethel City Council election is Sept. 29

Christine Trudeau

Three people are currently running for four open seats on Bethel City Council. Although the deadline has passed to get your name on the ballot, potential candidates can still enter the city council race as write-in candidates. The deadline to register is Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.

Write-in candidates need to be certified by the city clerk in order for votes cast on their behalf to be counted. To become certified, interested candidates should file a declaration of candidacy. You can find that on the city of Bethel’s website, or contact the Bethel City Clerk’s office.

“We do have financial disclosure requirements included in the Declaration of Candidacy packet, and there are additional forms required by the state of Alaska,” said Bethel City Clerk Lori Strickler. “I hope everybody knows they can stop by the city clerk's office or give us a call. We're happy to help fill in any blanks or questions that the individuals might have.”

Because there are four open seats and only three candidates, a write-in candidate will win the fourth seat. Unless, of course, there are no certified write-in candidates, in which case the seated city council members would appoint a member of the community to the council.

The three candidates on the ballot are incumbent Rose “Sugar” Henderson and newcomers Patrick Snow and Sophie Swope. Of the four city council seats available, three are two-year terms and the last is a one-year term. That shorter seat is available because Vice Mayor Conrad "C.J." McCormick is resigning to run for the Alaska State House. The top three vote getters will earn the two year seats, and fourth place will serve the one-year term

Current council members Michelle DeWitt and Perry Barr are not seeking another term.

Strickler said that whoever decides to run will have a big hand in shaping the future of Bethel.

“You can make significant changes as an individual within the community,” Strickler said. “I will say that it requires a lot of time and a lot of dedication.”

Early voting begins Sept. 19, so write-in candidates should get certified as soon as possible. The deadline to do that is Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.

Election day is Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Will McCarthy is a temporary news reporter at KYUK. Previously, he worked as a furniture mover, producer, and freelance journalist. Will's written for the New York Times, National Geographic, and Texas Monthly. He holds a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley.