Weddleton seeking third term in District 6 Anchorage Assembly race

The two challengers in the District 6 race for the Anchorage Assembly are trying to prevent the incumbent from getting elected to a third term.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 6:38 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The two challengers in the District 6 race for the Anchorage Assembly are trying to prevent the incumbent from getting elected to a third term — both think the assembly is broken and needs to be fixed.

District 6 candidates Darin Colbry and Randy Sulte said they want to be part of the solution in bringing more cohesion between the assembly and Mayor Dave Bronson’s, but incumbent John Weddleton thinks his challengers are picking the wrong fight, and he is not the problem.

Colbry, who is conservative, has lived in Anchorage for more than 40 years, and he said during the pandemic he saw a lot of people angry at some of the assembly members for what he described as not listening to the will of the people.

”Throwing the community people out of the assembly meetings during the mask mandate (debate),” Colbry said.

Fellow conservative candidate Sulte adds he and others are tired of seeing some of the assembly members continuing to clash with Bronson’s administration rather than build a productive relationship. The two government branches have continued to clash over questions of authority and process since he took office.

“It just seems that rather than giving Mayor Bronson a hand or advice, they just threw up barriers,” Sulte said. “We saw a lot of vetoes and we saw a lot of veto overrides.”

Both men think they can do a better job of representing their district’s voters than the incumbent. Weddleton, who considers himself a moderate, doesn’t see it that way. He said he has a good relationship with both the assembly members and the mayor’s office.

”Something’s wrong and I agree with that,” Weddleton said. “It shouldn’t be that way. There’s a lot of fireworks and there shouldn’t be. We don’t need that.”

However, he wants to remind voters that there is a long list of examples of when the assembly has worked together productively. The budget passing unanimously is one example, and Weddleton said that’s not all.

”It’s an exciting time to be on the assembly right now,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of big things, you know, we’ve got a path forward with the port. We’re doing big things with the homeless, and you know things will be better when we get out of Sullivan Arena and create a structure that will augment what we’ve had.”

However, Sulte thinks it’s time for change. He said Weddleton has been in office for two terms now, and Anchorage is not better than it was six years ago.

”I’m definitely more fiscally conservative. I think I have much more budget experience than John (Weddleton),” Sulte said.

Colbry is no stranger to political races; he has run for both mayor of Anchorage and governor of Alaska in the past. He feels he is the best candidate in the race.

”Some knowledge for being here 45 years and seeing what happened in the past, and maybe we can bring back some of those (ideas),” Colbry said.

There are contested races in assembly Districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Election day is April 5, and the new voting district map approved by the assembly through its reapportionment process will go into effect for elections that take place after April 2022.

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