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Anchorage Assembly will have a newcomer in winner of District 2 race

The Anchorage Assembly will have a newcomer in the winner of the District 2 race.
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 8:29 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Several people are running in the Anchorage Assembly races this election year. Assembly member Crystal Kennedy is not running for reelection to the District 2 Seat for Eagle River and Chugiak, and three people are running for her vacant seat.

Of the three running to represent the northern end of the municipality, one person has already received key endorsements. However, the two other challengers feel it will come down to who has the deepest roots in the district.

In District 2, candidates Kevin Cross and Vanessa Stephens identify themselves as fiscal conservatives, which is in line with the current representation in the district. However, educator Gretchen Wehmhoff sees herself as a centrist.

“I don’t think it is going to be a problem because I am from Chugiak/Eagle River. You know I have been teaching out here, you know I have taught a couple thousand kids. I have lived out here. My husband’s family has been out here,” Wehmhoff said.

Wehmhoff and Stephens both feel they have an advantage because they have lived in the district longer than Cross, and feel that they are more connected to the community. Stephens added that she feels her qualifications speak for themselves.

“I have worked with the Anchorage Police Department, I have built a business, I have built two homes out here. I started a business in my garage that went to a $1 million a year,” Stephens said.

However, real estate investor Kevin Cross has been endorsed by Mayor Dave Bronson and District 2 assembly members Crystal Kennedy and Jamie Allard. But, Cross said he is not taking the endorsements for granted.

“I’m still knocking doors several times a week,” Cross said. “By the way, I love that. I didn’t know that I was going to like that.”

All the candidates said they would like to bring more civility and a fair representation of Eagle River/Chugiak to the assembly.

“We are people who are really involved in our own community. We are not a group of angry people,” Wehmhoff said.

Stephens said she would like to bring more transparency to the assembly with how federal dollars are spent.

“Examination of this money — where it goes, why it goes, and who it goes to for what reason,” Stephens said.

Cross says he just wants to limit the government’s influence in people’s lives.

“I don’t think that you should need a permit to go replace a shower valve on your house or make repairs to your deck. I think there is too much government involvement,” Cross said.

The election is on April 5, and their are contested races in Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6

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