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Three Candidates on Ballot for Nome’s Mayor, Other Races Uncontested in 2020 Election

Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.
Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

Nome’s Municipal Election is roughly two weeks away and this year’s ballot is set, with the final candidates listed.

Up for election this year are five seats and the role of mayor. The only race featuring challengers is the mayoral one, where residents Colleen Deighton, Ken Hughes, and Interim Mayor John Handeland are all running for the figurehead position.

Nome’s Deputy City Clerk Christine Piscoya explains that normally the city’s mayor holds the position for two years, but 2020 is different.

“This year’s mayor candidate race has come up to a new term, [since the] passing of our past Mayor Richard Beneville. Since he had been re-elected last year in 2019, he has since passed on, and so we have now reopened the term to continue on for a year. And then in 2021, [that] will be the next date of an election for a new term.”

Piscoya says that all candidates listed on the ballot have to be eligible to run for municipal office by meeting a couple requirements:

“A candidate that would declare for candidacy for any municipal election would have to be a citizen of the City of Nome and live within the City of Nome city limits, for at least one year. They need any [of their] property taxes, business licenses, sales tax, those types of taxes to be current and up to date to qualify them to run for candidacy.”

Adam Martinson and Doug Johnson are both running for their respective seats on the City Council. Those positions have three-year terms.

Derek McLarty and Carl Emmons are on the ballot to keep their Utility Board seats. McLarty has a two-year term while Emmons’ seat comes with a three year term.

None of those four positions have challengers listed on the final ballot. However, Piscoya says that does not prevent a potential candidate from mounting a write-in campaign on election day.

“Well the voting polls will be open at 8am Tuesday, October 6th with the last vote being counted by 8pm at the closing of the evening. We will be there all day. Bring a mask, bring your ID, and come and get your vote counted!”

The last position up for election in October is Seat B of the Nome School Board, which is currently held by Brandy Arrington. According to city officials, Arrington decided not to declare her candidacy for this year’s election, so resident Jill Peters is the only candidate running on the ballot for that seat.


Nome’s Municipal Election will be held on October 6th. Challenge’s to a candidate’s eligibility can be submitted in writing to the City Clerk at any time prior to the election.

Image at top: Nome’s polling place at Old St. Joe’s for previous and current elections, will again be used for the 2020 Municipal Election. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM file.

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