5 things to know about Alaska’s midterm election

  • By Mark Thiessen
  • Saturday, August 30, 2014 7:03pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE — Legalizing pot, trying to find the Libertarian candidate for Senate and whittling through a growing field for Alaska governor are among the things to watch ahead of the Nov. 4 election:

Residents in both Alaska and Oregon will decide whether to legalize the recreation use of marijuana during separate ballot measures in November. Washington state already has approved the use of pot, as has Colorado.

Alaska’s marijuana measure, along with ballot measures on a minimum wage increase and requiring legislative approval for a large-scale metallic sulfide mining operation in the Bristol Bay region, were supposed to have been on the primary ballot. But the state Legislature went into extended session in April. Statutory and constitutional provisions require that at least 120 days pass after the regular session adjourns before the day of the election for purposes of initiative placement, pursing the measures to November.

The Alaska Libertarian Party may wind up with a U.S Senate candidate that doesn’t want to be on the ballot. Thom Walker won the primary election without campaigning. He works in the Brooks Range, and party officials say he posted his withdrawal from the race on their Facebook site. The problem is, he’s mostly out of contact and only periodically sends messages from a satellite phone. Election officials say posting notice to withdraw on Facebook isn’t good enough. Go figure. He’ll have to have a signed letter sent to the state by Tuesday to exit the race. If he does, the party will make Mark Fish, a former party chairman, its candidate to battle the race’s two high-profile candidates: Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and Republican challenger Dan Sullivan.

This year’s general election for governor is expected to be a spirited three-way race between incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, Democrat Byron Mallott and independent candidate Bill Walker. But there’s another candidate in the race. J.R. Myers collected enough signatures to qualify as the candidate for the Constitution Party, which has a platform goal of restoring “American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.” Libertarian Carolyn Clift is also running.

If Republican Gov. Sean Parnell wins re-election and serves out his term, he’ll be the second longest serving governor in the state’s 55-year history. Then the lieutenant governor, Parnell took office in 2009 when Gov. Sarah Palin resigned. He then was elected to his own term in 2010. Democrat William Egan holds the record with three four-year terms, the last in 1970.

More in News

Vice President Tyson Cox speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to discuss short-term rental tax on Tuesday

The resolution describes a proposed tax of up to 12%

Photo provided by Special Olympics Alaska Central Peninsula
The Special Olympics Alaska Central Peninsula team stands together for a photo during the Summer State Games in Anchorage.
Area athletes claim 45 medals at Special Olympics Alaska Summer Games

The Central Peninsula team fielded 17 local athletes in the competition

tease
Homer, Seldovia to celebrate summer solstice

Events will be held starting June 20

A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Slow sockeye fishing at Russian River, good rainbow trout at Kenai Lake

A Northern Kenai Fishing Report published by the State Department of Fish… Continue reading

Council member James Baisden speaks in favor of an amendment to the City of Kenai’s budget that would add funds for construction of a veteran’s memorial column in the Kenai Cemetery during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai budget amendment allocates funds for veterans’ columbarium in cemetery expansion

A columbarium is an aboveground structure that houses cremated remains

Council member Alex Douthit speaks in favor of an amendment to the CIty of Kenai’s budget that would reduce funds allocated to the Storefront and Streetscape Improvement Program during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Funding reduced for City of Kenai’s storefront improvement grant program

Just over a year after the City of Kenai established its Storefront… Continue reading

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Hilcorp only bidder in Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale

8 million acres were available for bidding in the sale, spread across Cook Inlet and the Alaska Peninsula region

Council member Phil Daniel speaks during a meeting of the Kenai City Council in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
City of Kenai approves budget

A draft of the document says that the city expects to bring in around $19.5 million in the next year, and spend $20.2 million

A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
A sockeye salmon rests atop a cooler at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kasilof River personal use setnet opening delayed

Low counts for Kenai River early-run king salmon motivate restriction

Most Read