A write-in candidate is challenging Anchorage Assembly Chair Ernie Hall for Seat D, representing West Anchorage, in the upcoming municipal election — his name is Nick Moe. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton has the story.
“Hey Suzie, how’s it going (suzie: hey nick). I’ve been talking, talking you and I was talking about your accomplishment of calling 190 folks. … Nick Moe here, I was calling to see what you’re up to this next week, could use your help. My name is Nick Moe, i’m the write-in candidate for seat D.”
That’s Nick Moe phoning some of the approximately 100 or so volunteers that he says have teamed up to try and get the him elected to the Anchorage Assembly through a write-in campaign. Moe, who declared he was running on March 19th, says, since then, his campaign has taken on a life of its own.
“Since last week, we’ve grown into a pretty incredible organization. You know we have over 400 likes on facebook. We’ve reached out to over 38-thousand people on facebook now. There are hundreds of people who are getting involved in the campaign, volunteering to connect with voters to put up yard signs, to make phone calls and to get the word out that the campaign exists and that west Anchorage has a choice.”
Assembly chair Ernie Hall was running unopposed until Moe jumped in the race as a write in last week. Moe says he’s challenging Hall, the current representative in Seat D, because he hasn’t been listening to his constituents, especially when it comes to AO37, an ordinance proposed by Mayor Dan Sullivan that would limit unions, and which is supported by Hall.
“You know there was over 1-thousand people that showed up to these assembly meetings to speak out that just wanted to show up to the assembly to improve the document. And not only did Ernie Hall not listen but he shut off testimony.”
Moe says he decided to run when he heard that Hall shut down the public hearing before everyone had had a chance to speak. Moe is no stranger to politics. At 19 he ran against Mark Begich for Mayor of Anchorage. After the election, Begich hired him as a renewable resources intern to work on energy and recycling issues. Since then, the 26-year-old has worked as a legislative aid and as a government relations director for University of Alaska Anchorage. Currently, he works for the non-profit, Alaska Center for the Environment. He says he’s running as a *write-in because Mayor Dan Sullivan, along with Hall, introduced the union ordinance at the filing deadline for Assembly seats.
“Ernie Hall introduced AO37 at the filing deadline when he knew that he wouldn’t have a political consequence for doing so.”
Although AO37 cast Moe into the race, he says he’s not running on that issue alone. Moe says he supports investing in education, renewable energy projects and in improving food security. Assembly Chair Hall has lived in West Anchorage since 1961. He has served on the Assembly in seat D for 3 years. He says in that time he’s done a lot for West Anchorage. Hall owned Alaska Furniture Manufacturers for 45 years and is now retired. He says he’s involved with a long list of community organizations.
“the Anchorage economic development corporation. I was the guy that raged the campaign that raised the money to put the food bank in the new building that it’s in. I’ve served on the board of Alaska children’s service, United Way.”
Hall says he refutes Moe’s accusation that he hasn’t been listening to people in West Anchorage. Hall admits though, that does support the union ordinance.
“That document was drafted by the administration. I was on it as a cosponsor. And the reality is anything that comes from administration to the assembly has to come through the chair. But I do, I am a supporter of it.”
The proposed ordinance was announced on February 8th by Mayor Dan Sullivan. It would limit union’s and give the mayor and assembly increased power over union negotiations. It would impact 22-hundred or so municipal employees Hall ended the testimony after listening to four 5-hour evenings where 285 people spoke before the assembly.
To Moe’s challenge Hall says voters should look at his accomplishments since he’s been serving on the Assembly.
“If you look at the accomplishments that I’ve
had from the Campbell Creek Estuary, Spenard Road, the west anchorage district plan, title 21, I think that I’ve been a big part, a very big part of accomplishing each one of those and that’s four pretty major tasks that have been accomplished during my time on the Assembly.”
But Hall says if West Anchorage voters aren’t satisfied with him, they now have another choice. Municipal Elections are Tuesday, April 2nd.