Saturday, February 09, 2008

First Look At Anchorage Alaska 2008 Municipal Election - Assembly And School Board Candidates

Update: Post updated on March 29th, 2008 to include some newer information. Have now posted links to the Anchorage Daily News election page and to the Anchorage Education Association's candidate survey. Live election results HERE

Another municipal election season is upon us, and since February 8th was the last day for municipal candidates to file, we now know who will be running for the specific offices. The Anchorage Daily News published a story on February 8th, 2008; additional story aired on KTUU Channel 2.

The ballot propositions were settled at the regular Anchorage Assembly meeting held on Tuesday February 12th. These are already presented in a separate post.

Links to incumbent websites, official campaign websites, and personal websites provided where available. Not all campaign websites may yet be activated as of this post. Candidates' APOC listings HERE. Official nine-page Municipality of Anchorage list of candidates now posted HERE in PDF format. This post will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.

Copies of all candidates' initial financial disclosure reports posted HERE as of February 10th.

- All Anchorage Daily News election content accessible via this page.

- Anchorage Education Association candidate surveys posted HERE.

Downtown (Section 1, Seat B): Incumbent Allan Tesche has served three consecutive terms and is barred by term limits from seeking a fourth consecutive term.

- Patrick Flynn. Official campaign website HERE. First-time candidate, currently the Vice-President of Markets, Sales and Services for Alaska Railroad. Former president of the South Addition Community Council. Former chief of staff for Ethan Berkowitz. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Chris Blankenship. Official campaign blog HERE. Additional MySpace website, set on private, HERE. Ramp service agent for Alaska Airlines. Wife is accounting manager at KTUU Channel 2. Response to Chamber of Commerce candidate survey posted HERE. KTUU candidate survey HERE.

KTUU Channel 2 Downtown race profile posted HERE.

Midtown (Section 4, Seat G):

- Dick Traini. INCUMBENT, official Assembly website HERE. Official candidate website HERE. Seeking his third full term. A neocon who is socially conservative, but who tends to support big government. Enthusiastically supported the two anti-smoking ordinances. Has to be considered the favorite.

- Elvi Gray-Jackson. Official campaign website HERE. A former Assembly staffer who was abruptly terminated in 2005; currently works for Municipal Light & Power. In-depth knowledge on how the Assembly works. Slightly left-of-center. Ran unsuccessfully against Dan Coffey in 2007. KTUU candidate survey HERE

KTUU Channel 2 Midtown race profile posted HERE.

West Anchorage (Section 3, Seat E): Incumbent Dan Sullivan has served three consecutive terms and is barred by term limits from seeking a fourth consecutive term. Besides, Sullivan's hunting bigger game now; he wants Mark Begich's job.

- Harriet Drummond. Official campaign website HERE. A former Anchorage School Board member who has remained a community activist and who is launching her first Assembly campaign. A leftist who is particularly articulate, committed, and tenacious; could be a tougher nut for Sherri Jackson to crack than Matt Claman was last year. Must be considered a slight favorite at this point. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Sherri Jackson. Official campaign website HERE. A former community council president who's launching her third try for a West Anchorage Assembly seat. Lost previously to Pamela Jennings in 2004, finishing a respectable third in a five-person race, and to Matt Claman by a small margin in 2007. Click HERE for a post about her 2007 campaign. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Bert Hoak. Construction worker who's worked for a variety of local employers, including Davis Construction, Wilder Construction, and Bristol Env & Engineering. Wife is a certified nurse's aide with Providence. According to KTUU, Hoak wants to replace the current system of graduated property tax assessments with a "flat" property tax per structure. He also favors a municipal sales tax. He proposes some significant reforms in education, wanting to eliminate middle schools because he considers them breeding grounds for gangs, and replace them with expanded K-8 elementary schools. KTUU candidate survey HERE

KTUU Channel 2 West Anchorage race profile posted HERE

East Anchorage (Seat I)

- Paul Bauer. INCUMBENT, official Assembly website HERE. Official campaign website HERE. A solid conservative whose hallmark has been public safety. Has taken a terrific beating from the hard-line lefties over his failed immigration ordinances. May be vulnerable. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Mike Gutierrez. Official campaign website HERE. A former Assembly staffer who was abruptly terminated in 2005. In-depth knowledge of how the Assembly works. Interested in accelerating economic development and job creation in East Anchorage. Could upset Bauer. KTUU candidate survey HERE

KTUU Channel 2 East Anchorage race profile posted HERE.

South Anchorage (Section 6, Seat K):

- Chris Birch, INCUMBENT, official Assembly website HERE. Official campaign website HERE. Running for his second term. A quiet, competent fiscal conservative primarily interested in controlling costs and public safety. Perhaps a bit too quiet; maybe his two opponents want to be a bit "noisier". KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Michael Kenny. Now retired, is a former secretary-treasurer with the Alaska Teamsters. Wife works for Alaska State Department of Administration/Health & Social Services. Opposes proposed senior housing complex at Potter's Marsh. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Jesse Busick. Official campaign website HERE. The Busicks help run a family summer sport fishing business in Seward and he manages five retail stores at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport for News Group. An advocate for small business; wants to see more favorable tax incentives for small business. KTUU candidate survey HERE

KTUU Channel 2 South Anchorage race profile posted HERE.

Eagle River (Section 2, Seat C):

- Bill Starr. INCUMBENT, official Assembly website HERE. Official campaign website HERE. Appointed by the Assembly in 2007 to finish Anna Fairclough's unexpired term, then defeated Janet Brand in the 2007 election. Starr would have to be considered a solid favorite at this point, primarily on the basis of superior name recognition. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Anthony Lemons, a school bus driver who is a first-time political candidate who has developed a reputation for being a solid conservative. Strong emphasis on consumer issues, particularly consumer debt. Personal blog HERE. Campaign platform published HERE. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Janet Brand. Although a write-in candidate, has an official APOC entry. Information about her published March 6th, 2008 in the Alaska Star; more information in this previous Alaska Pride post, to include links to other sources.

KTUU Channel 2 Eagle River race profile posted HERE.

Note: Nearly all Assembly candidates have responded to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce candidate survey. Click HERE, then click on the highlighted name of the candidate of interest to read the responses.

School Board: Unlike Assembly seats, which are geographical, school board seats are citywide:

Seat C: Incumbent Mary Marks NOT seeking re-election.

- David Boyle. Campaign website HERE. Has served on an ASD Budget Review Team. Seasonal driver/guide for Princess Land Tours. Spouse is a chief nurse at the VA. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Leigh Carrigan. Worked as a consultant for Public Radio Partners, headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- David Dunsmore. Campaign website HERE. A graduate of the Athenium private school, impressed many in the community with his poise and his knowledge of community issues during his run for Mayor as an 18-year-old in 2003. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Pat Higgins. Campaign website HERE. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Kathleen Plunkett. Campaign website HERE. (listed as the treasurer of the Russian Jack Community Council). Accountant for ConocoPhillips. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Steve Pratt. Operates Steve Pratt Enterprises, works on Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority issues. Served on an Anchorage School District Budget Review Team in 2003. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Scott Pryde. Campaign website HERE. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Gilbert Sanchez. Worked for Alaska Public Telecommunications until April 2007. Editor of the on-line Spanish newsmagazine El Sol de More info on the Independent Alaskan blog. KTUU candidate survey HERE

Seat D:

- John Steiner. Incumbent, official School Board website HERE. Seeking a third term, considered a strong favorite. Official campaign website HERE. A noted fiscal conservative, always asks the tough questions about costs at board meetings. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- James LaBelle. Official campaign website HERE. Married, three kids. Child welfare liaison with Cook Inlet Tribal Council. KTUU candidate survey HERE

- Toni L. Truelove. Married, three kids. Teaching assistant and substitute clerical with the Anchorage School District.

KTUU Channel 2 Seat D race profile posted HERE.

Note: Nearly all School Board candidates have responded to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce's candidate survey. Click HERE, then click the highlighted name of the candidate of interest to read the responses.


- Jim Bailey. WITHDREW FROM SCHOOL BOARD SEAT C RACE. Campaign website HERE. A former West High School principal. Ran unsuccessfully for the West Anchorage Assembly seat in 2007. Note: Bailey just announced on March 18th that he is dropping out of the race to accept a job as principal of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton School, a private Catholic elementary school in South Anchorage, and believes he would not also have time to serve effectively on the School Board. Has announced his endorsement of Kathleen Plunkett for the seat. Class act by Bailey to make this decision, and I wish him well.

- Jeremy Baker. WITHDREW FROM EAST ANCHORAGE ASSEMBLY RACE. During the KTUU Channel 2profile on this race, not only was Baker not included, but the reporter remarked that Baker was no longer in the race. APOC records do not list him, so this appears to be the case.


  1. For School Board Seat D canidate James LaBelle you have posted a link the cv of the candidate's father. The actual candidate is Jmaes Labelle Jr, an Indian Child Welfare liaison at Cook Inlet Tibal Council.

  2. Thanks for your input. Looks like LaBelle solved the problem further by creating his own campaign website.

  3. Please update comments under David Boyle for seat C, school board. I have a campaign website: I also served on the 2006 budget review committee for ASD. Thank you for your website. David Boyle, 344-4546

  4. Thanks for your input, David, and I have updated this post to reflect the information.

    For what it's worth, I viewed your site and am impressed with the way you've organized and structured your platform. Obviously, you're familiar with the "ABC" approach - Accuracy, Brevity, Clarity.

    I look forward to hearing you and your fellow candidates present yourselves on Channel 7's "Running" on Wednesday evening, March 26th.