City council candidates, questions for voters on the ballot in Oct. 4 Bethel election
On the Oct. 4 ballot are a city council race and two questions for voters. One of the questions, if passed, would allow beer and wine to be sold outside of a restaurant in Bethel.
If a majority of voters vote “yes” on that question, people could apply for a license to open a store selling beer and wine. Based on the population of Bethel, state law caps the number of alcohol stores that could open in the city to two. The earliest a store like that could open would be Jan. 1, 2024.
If a majority of voters vote “no” on that question, Bethel’s alcohol laws will stay the same as they are now: beer and wine only allowed at permitted restaurants.
The other question on the ballot has to do with masking. It asks voters to decide if the Bethel City Code should prohibit the city from enacting a mask requirement.
A “yes” vote means you don’t want the city to have the authority to enact a mask mandate. A “no” vote means that you do want the city to retain that power.
Plus, four candidates are running for four empty seats on Bethel City Council. Rose "Sugar" Henderson is the only incumbent of the four. She’s vying for a second term on the council. Newcomers Sophie Swope and Patrick Snow’s names will also appear on the ballot.
Henry S. Batchelor Jr. is also running for the council, but he’s running as a write-in candidate so his name won’t appear on the ballot.
Three of the candidates will serve for two-year terms; the candidate with the fewest votes will serve out the last year of council member Conrad “C.J.” McCormick’s term. McCormick is stepping down a year early to run for state representative.
There are two voting locations in Bethel. Precinct One can vote at the Bethel Regional High School district office. Precinct Two can vote at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center.
Both polling locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 4.