Coleman Reelected To City Council After Defeating Tutiakoff By 11 Votes

Oct 8, 2018

Shari Coleman has been reelected to City Council seat G for a three-year term.
Credit Courtesy of Shari Coleman

Shari Coleman has retained her seat on the Unalaska City Council after defeating challenger Vincent Tutiakoff Sr. by 11 votes.

The race was too close to call on the night of Tuesday's election.

Officials announced the final result on Friday after canvassing 34 absentee and questioned ballots that were deemed valid.

Coleman attributed the close contest to her voting record over the past year, which was her first in public office.

"When you stand up, you stand out," she said. "And if you look at my record, it hasn't really meshed with other council members. So I can understand I might have rubbed people the wrong way."

Coleman has been one of the council's most vocal opponents to restructuring the Department of Public Safety. She's also diverged from the majority on matters including whether to grant late applications for senior citizen property tax exemptions.

Moving forward, Coleman said she's taking her narrow reelection as a reminder to stay open-minded.

"Because you come with your experiences and preconceived notions, and it's important that you put that aside," she said. "That's something I've tried really hard on — to focus just on the facts, what's being presented to you, and what you hear from community members. Put all that together and come up with a decision."

Coleman said she's also planning to reach out to Unalaskans who didn't vote for her in an effort to connect with a wider swath of the community.

"Because you can get really wrapped up in just your colleagues and friends," she said. "You get into this mirco-circle."

The City Council is expected to certify Unalaska's election results on Tuesday.

In addition to Coleman's victory at council seat G, Alejandro "Bong" Tungul has earned another term at seat F and Carlos Tayag has won his first elected office at the school board seat A. Both Tungul and Tayag ran unopposed, earning about 78 and 86 percent of the vote, respectively.