Conservative, Progressive Democrat, Republican Vie for House District 9

Republican Jim Colver, Democrat Mabel Wimmer and the Alaska Constitution Party’s Pam Goode are vying for the House 9 seat.

Colver, from Palmer, sits on the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly where he has served 9 years. He’s been Borough School Board president, and is a member of the Assembly’s committee on school issues. He’s served on the Borough fish and game commission, the road service advisory board and the planning commission.

“And I have experience trimming budgets, solving problems, paving roads.”

 Colver upset incumbent Eric Feige in the August primary for the Republican slot on the November ballot. He says the widespread communities along the Richardson Highway have in common a need for affordable energy. He supports converting power plants to gas to lower electricity rates,

“If Ahtna is successful in drilling their gas well near Glennallen, we need to get that gas into the Glennallen area and convert that power plant to gas. For the short term, we need to work on more weatherization, we need to make firewood available. There’s a lot of things that we need to do that we can do now.”

Mabel Wimmer says residents in her area worked hard to get a Copper Valley hydro project on line to reduce electric costs.

“I think we need to look into alternative energy.”

Wimmer, from tiny Mendeltna, says she’s a “progressive” Democrat. She owns a roadside lodge, and says she’s frugal to a T

“I own the lodge at Mendeltna. We are a zero waste lodge and my campaign is a zero waste campaign. Please don’t look for signs on the highway.”

 Pam Goode is the Alaska Constitution Party candidate for House 9.  Delta Junction resident Goode describes herself as a conservative. She once worked for NASA and spent 11 years sailing around the world. Goode says she lives in an un-organized area now because she’s standing for personal freedom, privacy and constitutional values.

“That’s what got me into the race, was to get more involved and to use my voice and to share that and to give voters a true constitutional choice.”

 House 9’s many small communities depend on small businesses for an economic base. Colver says those businesses are hampered by too many regulations, Wimmer advocates having communities decide which businesses fit their area best. Goode says more resource development would help. She supports coal extraction.

State budget concerns top this year’s election debate. Pam Goode says the three biggest :

“The three biggest draws on our operational budget is K through 12, education, Medicaid and PERS and TERS. And I think they put a temporary patch on PERS and TERS last session”   Goode says the whole health care system needs a new look.

“The people have to realize that medical care has to be paid for like all your other needs in life. I think you just need to reset and come up with a good system that encourages that type of thinking. And encourages people to save for their medical care, maybe an HSA, Health Savings Plan, and catastrophic insurance.”

Wimmer supports expanding Medicaid to help reduce health costs

“We need to work to bring in the Medicaid expansion, so that insurance rates can lower, so that people can have more Medicaid dollars avaialable. I think that we need to improve nutrition.”

Colver opposes Medicaid expansion:

“I don’t favor an expansion of Medicare. Because, once you take the federal free lunch, it’s not free forever. We have a budget problem in Alaska. We need to tighten our belt, not bring in more expenses. “

Colver says the state HSS budget for Medicare has tripled since 2006.

As of October 6, Colver had spent 75 thousand dollars on both his primary and general election races. Wimmer, practicing what she preaches, has spent nothing for her run, and received a single 100 dollar donation. Goode, has raised over 7 thousand dollars for her campaign, most of it from her own pocket, and spent just under 5 thousand dollars,