State Rep. Sharon Cissna Will Run Against Rep. Don Young

State Representative Sharon Cissna is running for Don Young’s seat in Congress. She filed her paperwork with the Alaska Public Offices Commission this morning. Cissna is a Democrat who currently represents the University/medical district in Anchorage.

She says her main issue will be reforming the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA has been a target of Cissna’s since she refused an invasive pat-down at the Seattle airport last year. She ended up taking the ferry to Juneau instead. She says Congressman Young hasn’t done enough to change the way TSA handles airport screenings.

“He hasn’t put forth the kind of oversight responsibility that Congress has to stop jobs that are being done very, very poorly. That are actually hurting Americans. And that’s what’s happening with TSA. And he has not gone after them and that’s his job,” she said.

Cissna was elected to the legislature 14 years ago and has been in the house minority ever since.

Congressman Don Young issued an e-mail statement today saying he “welcomes Representative Cissna to the race and is looking forward to the campaign season.”

Anchorage resident Geran Tarr is running for Cissna’s seat as a Democrat. Tarr is 36 years old and teaches biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She says making sure Alaska gets its fair share of oil taxes will be a focus for her, along with education.

“One of the things that excites me about my district is that there are gobs of children. A lot of young families so education is a primary concern for folks. And making sure their kids have good schools and educational opportunities,” she said.

Cissna’s current district 22- used to be comprised mostly of the University/medical area in Anchorage, but under the redistricting plan will include the Mountain View neighborhood. The new district is 17.

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Annie Feidt is the Editor and Producer of Alaska News Nightly, and is also a frequent contributor to the show. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace.

Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49thstate just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon.

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