Interior lawmakers oppose the trend of incumbents leaving the Alaska Legislature in 2022.
Some political observers say as many as a third of sitting lawmakers may not seek another term in the Alaska Legislature.
Most interior incumbents are pledging to run again, in contrast to lawmakers in other parts of the state who are stepping down in greater numbers than expected.
With the 5 p.m. filing deadline today to contest the state primary, all but two of the interior lawmakers have announced their re-election campaigns.
“I just filed today,” Fairbanks Rep. Grier Hopkins said. “It’s hard to be away from family for long periods of time. But it is still extremely important to serve.
Representatives Bart Lebon, Mike Cronk, Mike Prax and Hopkins as well as Sens. Click Bishop, Robert Myers and Scott Kawasaki are up for re-election in 2022.
Cronk, who is from Tok, and Prax, who represents the North Pole, are the only ones to show up unopposed from 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
That could change in the next few hours.
Kawasaki, a Democrat from Fairbanks, declared his intention to nominate his candidacy, but as of the end of Tuesday, no one had filed a nomination in his senatorial constituency, according to the website of the Elections Division of the United States. Alaska.
Rep. Adam Wool, another Fairbanks Democrat, quits his state House seat to campaign in the special primary race for Alaska’s sole seat in the U.S. House seat.
And Republican Rep. Steve Thompson of Fairbanks, who told the News-Miner “12 years is enough,” is heading for retirement.
As incumbents step down, others come forward to run and replace them in the Legislative Assembly, including political newcomers and third-party candidates who may not be well known to voters.
Here’s a look at how some interior races have evolved. Everything is smooth until the close of the deposit period.
In the House, incumbent Republican Rep. Bart LeBon of Fairbanks will face early competition from at least one other Republican and one Democrat.
The campaigns of Democrat Maxine Dibert and Republican Kelly Nash have been certified in District 31, where LeBon is the incumbent. Dibert is a teacher and Nash is a Conservative party activist.
Hopkins faces two challengers in House District 34. Republicans Nate Demars of Salcha and Frank Tomaszewski of Fairbanks have been certified to run against Hopkins.
Demars describes himself on social media as “your local guy running for State House.” Tomaszewski is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and a member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly.
In the Senate, Republican incumbent Robert Myers of Fairbanks will take up the challenge of Alaskan independence candidate Arthur Serkov of Fairbanks.
The Alaska Independence Party promotes “Alaska-centric” issues, including resource development, and advocates a vote on secession from the United States.
Sen. Click Bishop also faces a challenge from an Alaska Independence Party candidate. Robert “Bert” Williams runs against the longtime incumbent.
In House District 32, Republican Will Stapp is seeking to fill Thompson’s seat.
Thompson’s retirement comes as no surprise, as he indicated more than a year ago that he would not run again. Stapp was Tuesday’s only certified candidate in the race. A military veteran, he was stationed at Fort Wainwright as an infantryman. Thompson endorses Stapp’s candidacy for election.
While some races only have one candidate, District 35 is a crowded House race.
Wool, the Democratic incumbent, announced he would not seek another term as he campaigned for the US House of Representatives.
Democrat Ashley Carrick, Wool’s aide in the Legislative Assembly, is running to take the seat.
The other challengers are Republican Ruben McNeill Jr., a health care executive; Kiernan Brown of the Alaska Constitution Party; and Tim Parker, a retired English teacher who is not affiliated with any party.