Homer Electric Association election results: Jim Levine retains seat for southern Kenai Peninsula
Over one hundred members of the Homer Electric Association met Thursday for the electric co-ops annual meeting of the members in Soldotna. A chance to hear from the utilities’ management and elect new representatives for HEA’s nine member board of directors.
According to results announced last night, incumbent Jim Levine will keep his seat representing the southern peninsula for District 3. He had 968 votes to Mike Jones’s 683.
Incumbent Jim Duffield will keep his seat representing Kenai, Nikiski and parts of Soldotna for District 1. He had 616 votes to challenger Rob Ernst’s 393.
Dan Green beat out incumbent C.O. Rudstrom for the seat in District 2, representing Soldotna, Sterling and Kasilof, 783 votes to 417.
Duffield and Green ran as more conservative candidates, while Levine ran a campaign focused on renewables energy sources.
Jim Levine spoke with KDLL as part of a candidate series earlier this spring, about what they wanted to see from their co-op and how they thought Homer Electric was handling impending natural gas shortages. Levine is based in Homer and has served twice before on the HEA board. This will be his final term, due to term limits.
"I personally have been pushing, ever since I got on the board to try to diversify our portfolio of energy.," Levine said. "But so far we've gotten a little ways, obviously we use Bradley Lake, which is about 12% of our power use. And, yeah, with the natural gas (shortage), we're trying to diversify, like I said. I'd love to see us get into solar and wind and tidal hydro kinetics out in the bay. But so far it's been elusive, but I think we're really getting there."
Turnout for the HEA election was low - 3,931 members cast ballots in this election. That’s less than 16% of Homer Electric Association’s 25,000 members.
Sabine Poux with KDLL contributed to this reporting.