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Retired educator Chesbro files for Senate as only Democrat

Patricia Chesbro
Patricia Chesbro(Photo credit Matthew Beck)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 2:41 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Patricia Chesbro has joined the race for U.S. Senate and is the only Democrat currently bidding for the seat held by Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Chesbro is a retired educator and currently serves on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission.

The recent Supreme Court leak that signals an end to Roe v. Wade is of major concern to Chesbro and has become the cornerstone of her early platform for the U.S. Senate.

“I am very much in favor of women making their own choices for their own bodies,” Chesbro said in an interview. “I think that’s a really important issue and I would say if I have a platform, that’s, that’s one of the first pieces of the platform.”

Chesbro last filed for public office in 2014 when she ran for the Alaska Senate. She is chair of the Mat-Su Democrats and says she has tried to live by democratic values her whole life. After 25 years as an educator at Palmer High School — nine of those as principal.

“I am the president of the board of the Palmer Museum. I’m on the Palmer Community Foundation Board. I’m on the Palmer Arts Council board, I am working with some colleagues to develop an arts and culture hub in Palmer and we’re called the Palmer coalition, and that’s just kind of getting started,” Chesbro said. “So I try I’ve been trying to give back to my community for a while now.”

Chesbro then became the superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School district and retired, only to unretire and begin work at the University of Alaska Anchorage, eventually becoming the chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning where she trained future educators. Chesbro said she also helped secure a federal grant to provide a network for Alaskan schools that was over $9 million.

“I’m running for the seat not necessarily against Lisa Murkowski,” Chesbro said. “I think we need somebody to balance our people in Washington, DC, I mean, we don’t have very many. We only have one representative and to have all three be Republicans, that means that somebody else’s voice isn’t being heard”

Chesbro supports term limits and is critical of the Republican Party in Alaska.

“I also believe that political parties, at least what it appears to, to happen in this Republican Party, is there’s a lot of pressure on them to have to follow a real party line that may not be as positive as I’d like it to be,” Chesbro said. “I do believe in people, and that’s my campaign. I believe in people. I’ve always believed in kids, I’m kind of worried the messages we’re giving to our children and young people right now, with the vitriol that’s out there, the hate talk, the destruction of things, and I’m going to try to appeal to that. I think we should build not destroy, and I, for whatever reason, this Republican Party seems to be stuck in the destruction mode.”

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