The Division of Elections on Friday saw a large rush of candidates filing paperwork to get themselves on the statewide ballot for this year’s elections.
Most of the uncontested races from last week had disappeared by Friday’s filing deadline – as 149 candidates decided to put their names on the ballot for the party primary elections in August and the general election in November. As the doors were locked at the Elections Offices, only one senator – Bethel Democrat Lyman Hoffman – was guaranteed no opposition. In the House, five Republicans and two Democrats have drawn no opposition. Neither Juneau representative, Cathy Munoz nor Beth Kerttula, are challenged. The same is the case for Bethel Democrat Bob Herron, Republican Speaker Mike Chenault of Nikiski and three other members of his caucus, Alan Austerman of Kodiak, Steve Thompson of Fairbanks and Mike Hawker of Anchorage.
Redistricting has caught several incumbents having to run against other current office holders. Democrat Bob Miller and Republican Tammie Wilson will face off in November for one seat in Fairbanks as will David Guttenberg and Alan Dick. Democrat Pete Peterson and Republican Lance Pruitt will contend for the same Anchorage seat. That’s the case in the Senate, too, as Republican John Coghill and Democrat Joe Thomas run against each other in Fairbanks and Bert Stedman and Albert Kookesh will face each other in Southeast.
Eight former legislators want to return to the capitol as members. Former Republican Senators Pete Kelly and Ralph Seekins, both of Fairbanks – as well as former Republican Representatives Gabrielle LeDoux, Bob Roses, Kelly Wolf and Carl Morgan and Democrats Harry Crawford and Woody Salmon – will also be on the ballots.
The primary election is set for August 28th and the General Election for November 6th.