Alaska general election filing deadline passes with 10 incumbents not seeking reelection
JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) -The filing deadline for Alaska’s general election passed at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. At least one-third of the Alaska Legislature will not serve in the offices they currently hold: 10 legislators are not seeking reelection, eight are running for different offices, and two Democratic incumbents are set to lose their seats after being paired with two other Democrats in the same districts due to redistricting.
There are 10 candidates for governor and lieutenant governor who have filed to run on joint tickets. They include:
- Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and former Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom
- Independent former Gov. Bill Walker, who is running with fellow independent Heidi Drygas as his running mate
- Democratic former state Rep. Les Gara, who is running with Jessica Cook
- Republicans Charlie Pierce and Edie Grunwald are running together
- Republicans Rep. Chris Kurka is on a ticket with Paul Hueper as his lieutenant governor
Before November’s election, there are already set to be big shake ups in the House of Representatives. At least 15 of 40 legislators there are not returning to the seats they currently hold.
Democratic Reps. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Tiffany Zulkosky, Liz Snyder and Ivy Spohnholz have announced that they are not seeking reelection, and so have Republican Reps. Steve Thompson and Sara Rasmussen.
There are seven House legislators who are running for other offices: Democratic Rep. Adam Wool is running for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Rep. Geran Tarr is running for an open Alaska Senate seat.
Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, filed shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday to run for the Alaska Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage. Eagle River Republican Reps. Kelly Merrick and Ken McCarty have filed to run for the Alaska Senate seat currently held by fellow Republican Sen. Lora Reinbold, who announced last month that she is not seeking reelection.
Rep. James Kaufman, R-Anchorage, has filed to run for the Alaska Senate seat held by Sen. Josh Revak, R-Anchorage, who in turn is running for the U.S. House. Kurka is running to be governor.
This year’s redistricting cycle means some incumbents are set to run against each other. Democratic Reps. Chris Tuck and Andy Josephson are in the same district and both have filed to run for reelection. Josephson and Tuck are friends who say they support each other, but they are deciding who will continue in the race.
Democratic Reps. Zack Fields and Harriet Drummond are also paired in the same Anchorage House district, and both say they are running for reelection. Fields and Drummond say they share similar policy goals.
There are several open House districts due to redistricting, and several other districts that have no incumbents:
- An Eagle River House district is set to see former Republican Reps. Dan Saddler and Sharon Jackson run against each other
- Another Eagle River House seat is set to see Republican Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard face off against fellow Republican Roger Branson
- An open Wasilla House seat has Republican candidates Rachel Allen, Jessica Wright, Steven Menard and Jesse Sumner all running against each other
- An open Anchorage House district is set to see Alyse Galvin, a former two-time candidate for Congress, face off against Republican Nicholas Danger
In the Senate, at least five of 20 legislators there are not returning. Republican Senate President Peter Micciche has announced that he is not running for reelection, and so did fellow Republican Sens. Natasha von Imhof, and Lora Reinbold. Sen. Josh Revak, R-Anchorage, is not seeking reelection as he’s running for the U.S. House.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, also confirmed on Wednesday that he is not running again. He said by phone that it has been “a very, very difficult year,” and that he will focus on helping build strong coalitions in the Alaska Legislature, and to try to restore civility in U.S. politics.
Löki Tobin, a registered Democrat who has served as Begich’s legislative aide, has filed to run to for his Anchorage Senate seat. Independent Heather Herndon has also filed to run for the same seat.
Several incumbents in the Senate potentially face tough races. Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, is being challenged by fellow registered Republican Doug Massie, who resigned as head of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers last week. City of Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly, a Republican, is challenging Democratic Sen. Scott Kawasaki for his seat. Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, has two Republican challengers: Heath Smith, a former Homer council member, and Walter Jones, a U.S. Army veteran of Anchor Point.
In an open Anchorage Senate seat, Rep. Geran Tarr is set to face off against Anchorage Assembly member Forrest Dunbar, a fellow Democrat, and Democratic former legislative aide Drew Cason. Andrew Satterfield, a Republican, also filed to run for the same Senate seat.
The top four vote getters at the primary election, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the general election. Alaskans will then use ranked-choice voting to pick a winner. The deadline for state candidates to withdraw is June 25. The primary election day is Aug. 16 and the general election is Nov. 8.
The Alaska Division of Elections says that while 5 p.m. on Wednesday is the deadline to file, the official list of candidates is subject to change as it continues to be updated.
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