A conservative Political Action Committee in the Matanuska-Susitna valley is wading into the Anchorage mayor’s race. The group is endorsing Amy Demboski’s mayoral campaign, in part because of her conservative stance on a contentious equal rights measure in Anchorage.
The president of the Alaska Republican Assembly PAC, Daniel Hamm, is traveling abroad, but wrote in an email the group is “gearing up to support the mayoral candidate” most in line with fiscal and socially conservative values. And they’ve picked Eagle River-Chugiak Assembly member Amy Demboski, whohas spoken with the group in the past, but not since they formed a PAC, in keeping with campaign laws.
“Our campaigns aren’t coordinating at all. Once I learned they had a PAC I just haven’t had any communications with them,” Demboski said on the phone.
The Alaska Republican Assembly PAC hasn’t yet spent any money on ads yet, but plans to starting next week. A Facebook post described by Hamm as a “work in progress” emphasizes Demboski’s commitment to veto “any homosexual ordinance.” It is a reference to Proposition 5, the failed voter initiative from 2012 to overturn Mayor Dan Sullivan’s veto of an anti-discrimination measure. Though niether Demboski nor her campaign had anything to do with the post, its claims are accurate.
“I have heard rumors, and I’ve had other people tell me that Prop 5 has been redrafted and is ready to be introduced after the mayor’s race,” Demboski explained. “If anybody’s wondering how I would come down on it: I would absolutely veto Prop 5.”
Both Demboski and the Alaska Republican Assembly PAC say measures like Prop 5 that create protected groups in the legal code infringe on the religious and free speech rights of those who object to same-sex relationships. Critics say firm anti-discrimination laws are needed to ensure equal protections for all Anchorage residents.
Hamm wrote that while the Alaska Republican Assembly’s center of membership is in the Mat-Su Valley, the organization itself is state-wide, and has a keen interest in the outcome of the race to lead Alaska’s largest city.