Challengers in District 3 race feel it’s time for a fresh voice in West Anchorage
Incumbent Perez-Verdia running for second term
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The candidates in the Anchorage Assembly District 3 race said they feel it is time for change and that the incumbent is out of touch with those who elected him to the assembly.
Kameron Perez-Verdia is running for a second term as a district representative for West Anchorage, and he feels his opponents’ critique of him is an inaccurate one. He still believes he’s the best candidate in the race.
In West Anchorage, there are signs up for Perez-Verdia, Liz Vazquez, and Nial Sherwood Williams. Perez-Verdia, who considers himself a moderate, said if re-elected he wants to address improving public safety, the economy, and reducing homelessness in West Anchorage.
”I really do feel like more than ever we need people who are going to bring balance, who are going to listen, who are going to be open to different ideas,” Perez-Verdia said. “People who are going to do the work. They are going to show up and do the research, and make sure the decisions they make are in the best interest of our city.”
He also wants to be part of the solution to bringing civility back to the assembly.
“What I am going to do is sit down with people, talk to them, listen to them, be open-minded, especially with the mayor,” Perez-Verdia said.
Challenger Liz Vazquez, who has lived in West Anchorage for nearly 40 years and considers herself a conservative, is critical of the incumbent’s track record.
“In particular my opponent has not objected to the arrogant, rude, condescending behavior of his colleagues on the assembly. I don’t think I would have a problem in addressing that issue,” Vazquez said.
Christian Constitutionalist Nial Sherwood Williams, who is a frequent attendee of assembly meetings and often speaks during public comment periods, wonders if Perez -Verdia has lost his appetite for the position.
“Assembly members not being available and present to the people, sitting in the chair, present in the meetings looking at people’s eyes to listen to their concerns,” Williams said. “I will do that better. I will be there every day.”
Perez-Verdia disagrees with the characterization.
“I think that is absolutely out of context. I have attended every single assembly meeting since I have been in office,” Perez-Verdia said.
Vazquez agrees with Perez-Verdia about these issues facing West Anchorage, but she thinks the voters want change, and that she is the person to bring that change.
“I bring tenacity, persistence,” she said. “I was a litigator, so I know how to dive in, and do the deep dive on the facts and the budget.”
Williams said he feels the voters’ frustration and thinks a lot of incumbents will lose their seats this election year, regardless of how big their signs are or how many doors they knocked on.
“I leave this up to the people of West Anchorage to decide the race. I don’t think money will decide it. I think this is a principle-based decision,” Williams said.
Perez-Verdia said he feels he is in touch with the voters’ concerns in West Anchorage. He said he has knocked on more than 2,000 doors, averaging around 200 every weekend.
“The doors that I knock on are often the people that are not necessarily in my corner because I want to make sure I give them the opportunity to share what they are concerned about,” Perez-Verdia said.
The election is on April 5, and there are contested races in Districts 3, 4, 5, and 6.
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