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Unalaska City Council candidates take the stage for 2023 forum 

Maggie Nelson
The general election is Tuesday, Oct. 3. In-person early voting is already underway at city hall, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

KUCB hosted the 2023 Unalaska City Council Candidates Forum Thursday, giving voters a chance to learn more about candidates before they head to the polls for the Oct. 3 general election.

There are two races in this year’s election. Brenda Baker is running against incumbent Thomas Bell for Seat B, and Dennis Robinson is running to keep his seat against challenger Anthony Longo.

During the forum, candidates discussed Unalaska’s top issues, including the high cost of airfare and major capital projects.

Baker and Bell took the stage for the first part of the event.

Baker moved to Unalaska in 2015 to work for North Port Rentals/Aleutian Freight Services. She said her nearly three decades working with logistics would be a valuable addition to the council, and that she’d be thrilled to serve Unalaskans.

“I just love the community that I live in. And I want to represent the people and be a voice for the people,” Baker said.

Her opponent, Bell, is a longtime member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and has served on city council since 2020.

“I've enjoyed my time on the council here. I've learned a lot. I've met a lot of people throughout the community. And I would appreciate the support to continue with my seat on the council,” he said.

Anthony Longo and incumbent Dennis Robinson took over for the second half of the forum. They spent about an hour discussing local issues, like the Makushin Geothermal Project, and whether they would welcome an increased military presence on the island.

If elected, this would be Longo’s first time on council, but he said he’s taken an active role in the community and follows the council meetings whenever possible.

“I've been coming to the council meetings here and there. I watch them whenever I can't make it,” Longo said. “I want to be more involved in the community., I want to do something more to ensure the future here, for my family and the other families in Unalaska.”

Robinson has held his seat since 2017, but he’s served as a council member on and off since 1986.

Robinson has also had leadership roles with the Qawalangin Tribe and the Ounalashka Corp., but said he’s well-practiced at handling potential conflicts of interest.

“[It’s] a balancing act,” Robinson said. “Whenever I have a question of conflict, I definitely run it by the city attorney.”

The general election is Tuesday, Oct. 3.

In-person early voting is already underway at city hall, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can find all of the information you need about when and where to vote, as well as more information on both city council and school board candidates online. Check out our voters’ guide for more.

Theo Greenly reports from the Aleutians as a Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio at KCRW in Santa Monica, California, and has produced radio stories and podcasts for stations around the country.
Related Content
  • Brenda Baker is running against incumbent Thomas Bell for Unalaska City Council Seat B.
  • In part two of the forum, Anthony Longo and incumbent Dennis Robinson discuss the community’s biggest issues.
  • The City of Unalaska will hold a general election on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

    Polls are open at City Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Early voting is available in person at City Hall Sept. 13- Oct. 2, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    You can also vote by mail if you apply by Sept. 28 or by email or fax if you apply by noon on Oct. 2.

    If you can’t make it in person, due to illness or physical disability, you can appoint a representative to pick up a ballot for you.

    For more information, call the City Clerk at 907-581-1251.

    Here’s what’s on the ballot

    Unalaskans will vote for two City Council members and three school board members.

    No candidates filed to run for School Board Seat B. The seat will still be on the ballot with a spot for just a write-in candidate. Interested individuals who would like to become a write-in candidate for this seat need to contact the City Clerk’s office as soon as possible and complete forms to be submitted to the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

    For more information, call the City Clerk at 907-581-1251.

    KUCB's On-Air Candidates Forum

    Our City Council Candidates Forum took place on Thursday, Sept. 14 and you can listen to the program on our website in two parts:
    Seat B
    Seat E

    The Candidates Forum will rebroadcast at the following times:
    • KUCB will rebroadcast the forums back-to-back on Friday, Sept. 22 at noon and Saturday, Sept 23 at 4 p.m. over local radio and Channel 8 TV.
    • And starting on Oct. 1 we will run the forums every night at 7 p.m. until Election Day on Channel 8.