Where: 637 A Street.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage –
There will be beer. There will be donated shrimp and vegetables. There will be politicians. (At least a few.)
Thanks to an Arkansas transplant who worked on the recent Diane Benson campaign for lieutenant governor there will be an “Election Central” in Downtown Anchorage Tuesday night.
“Everybody comes together and they await the returns. It’s an excellent display of democracy,” Andrew Caleb Pritt said of the Anchorage political tradition, which collects candidates, reporters and well-wishers together most election nights.
The event is usually held at the Egan Center or the Dena'ina Center after polls close. Sometimes its a bustling affair. Sometimes it's a lonely evening, depending on how hot that year's election is.
Either way, the mayor's office normally pays the bill, which was about $4,000 last year, said City Clerk Barbara Gruenstein.
Not this year.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Dan Sullivan recently told reporters the mayor's office would not host election central this year "due to budget constraints and limited interest from the public last year."
Pritt, who has been living at a hotel and looking for work in Anchorage since the campaign, read the news on Facebook and began building a guerilla alternative.
The owner of the A Street Event Hall, across A street from the museum, donated space and secured a temporary liquor license. A restaurant pledged hot platters. Someone else vowed to buy fruit and vegetable plates at Carrs.
For Pritt, the newly arrived political activist, the cost of making tomorrow night’s event happen has been shoe leather and cell phone minutes. His goal: Maintain a late-night political party that’s not about any particular political party.
That's something that seems uniquely Alaskan, Pritt said.