Race too close to call for City Council seat B

Election to be certified following final count March 16

A resident goes into the Cordova Center March 7, during the city elections. By Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

One city council seat and five new Cordova Community Medical Center Hospital Authority Board seats remained partly undecided March 7, during the preliminary vote count for the city of Cordova election.

Turnout at the polls was slim, with just about one-fifth, or 386, of Cordova’s 1,907 registered voters casting ballots.

Sixty ballots remain to be counted March 15, including absentee, mail-out, and questioned ballots.

Deputy City Clerk Tina Hammer said the final numbers would be tallied March 15, and the election certified at noon on March 16.

A resident casts his vote for two city council candidates, one school board candidate, and five hospital authority board candidates during the city election, March 7.
By Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

Candidate Kenneth Byron Jones was leading for city council seat B, with 182 votes. His strongest competitor, RJ Kopchak, was close behind with 161 votes. Candidate Michael “Van” Schumm, who told The Cordova Times via email Feb. 27, that he was withdrawing from the race, received 25 votes.

In a contest for city council seat C, Jeff Guard received 226 votes and Enrico Venzon had 101 votes. With just 60 votes remaining to be counted, Guard was forecasted as the winner of seat B.

City council seats B and C are both three-year terms.

Incumbent Cordova School Board candidate Sheryl Glasen, who ran uncontested, received 356 votes for her three-year seat.

The CCMC Authority Board’s five seats are determined by the order of most votes received, and will seat one, three-year term; two, two-year terms; and two, one-year terms.

CCMC Authority Board candidate Kristin Carpenter currently holds the lead with 306 votes, followed by Sally Bennett, 281 votes; April Horton, 272 votes; Dorne Hawxhurst, 263 votes; and John Harvill, 218 votes.

Election board members Seawan Gehlbach, Ann Schultz, and Sue Shellhorn assist resident Stephen Sundby as he signs in to vote in the city elections March 7.
By Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

City Clerk Susan Bourgeois released the preliminary election results late on election night, after the polls closed at the Cordova Center.

The 60 ballots remaining to be counted include five questioned ballots, which will be sent to the state’s election board for a final determination to see if they’ll count in the election, Hammer said.

Seawan Gehlbach, Cathy Pegau, Ann Schultz, Sue Shellhorn, Ruth Steele, Tina Hammer, Susan Bourgeois, and election chair Diana Rubio, served as the election board for this election.

Preliminary Election Results, March 7


City Council Seat B, three-year term: 

Kenneth Byron Jones, 182 votes;

RJ Kopchak, 161 votes;

Michael “Van” Schumm, 25 votes.

City Council Seat C, three-year term: 

Jeff Guard, 226 votes; 

Enrico Venzon, 101 votes.


Cordova School Board, One three-year term:

Sheryl Glasen, 356 votes.


One, three-year term; two, two-year terms, and two, one-year terms

Kristin Carpenter, 306 votes; 

Sally Bennett, 281 votes; 

April Horton, 272 votes; 

Dorne Hawxhurst, 263 votes; 

John Harvill, 218 votes.


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Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson is a staff writer and photographer for The Cordova Times. She has been writing in one form or another for 30-plus years and has had a longstanding relationship with The Cordova Times starting in 1989. She's been an Alaskan since 1976 and first moved to Cordova in 1978. She's lived in various West Texas towns; in Denver, Colorado; in McGrath, Cordova, Galena, Kodiak, Wasilla, Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska and in Bangalore, India. She has two children and three grandchildren. She can be reached at cgibbens-stimson@thecordovatimes.com or follow her on Instagram @alaskatoindia.