Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Andrew Lee, Byron Mallott and Dan Sullivan Lieutenant Governor of Alaska spoke at a community forum Tuesday, October 14, 2014, Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Andrew Lee, Byron Mallott and Dan Sullivan Lieutenant Governor of Alaska spoke at a community forum Tuesday, October 14, 2014, Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center in Kenai, Alaska.

Candidates for lieutenant governor debate in Kenai

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 10:29pm
  • News

The three candidates running for lieutenant governor of Alaska outlined their platforms Tuesday during a public forum at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center.

Andrew Lee, running on the Libertarian ticket, commented that he has not often been asked to join public forums for the lieutenant governor race since campaigning for the seat began.

Lee, who has not previously held a position in public office, is up against the current mayor of Anchorage, Dan Sullivan, and Democrat Byron Mallott, who combined his campaign with independent candidate Bill Walker.

Lee owns and operates a Bering Sea gold dredging company, and has a background in computer programming, which he said brings a unique skill to the table.

Mallott is the former executive director of the Alaskan Permanent Fund Corporation and president of the Alaska Federation of Natives. He has also served as the mayor of Yakutat and Juneau.

Sullivan is reaching his term limit as Anchorage mayor. He previously served as chairman while he was a member on the Anchorage Assembly.

During Tuesday’s forum, Sullivan referenced his support of running mate Gov. Sean Parnell, including the choice to support Senate Bill 21, mentioning how the current deficit facing the state due to a drop in oil prices would be $150 million greater had voters repealed the measure.

Mallott later said SB21 should never have been put before the electorate. He said it was a shift in where the responsibility should be placed and reflects a breakdown in communication and leadership.

Mallott made the comment in response to whether the state is properly utilizing the referendum process. He said referendums provide an outlet for elected officials to make sure they are creating policy that aligns with public opinion, but they are overused.

Lee said he prefers public officials to be making the decisions, who are elected to be experts on the issues. In his responses during the forum, he often attributed his viewpoint as aligning with Libertarian standards.

The Libertarian ticket is the only one on the ballot to endorse the pro-choice position and strongly supports funding to public schools, Lee said.

When it comes to Proposition 2 and the potential for legalization in Alaska, Lee said he supports the libertarian viewpoint that citizens should be allowed the maximum amount of personal freedoms, as long as they do not harm others. But he said during campaigning he has met pot smokers who will be voting against the proposition.

“If you like your drug dealer, you keep your drug dealer, but maybe Prop 2 doesn’t help that,” Lee said.

Sullivan said he has somewhat of a libertarian streak in him and agrees people should be able to do what they want in their own homes. However, legalized recreational marijuana may limit eligible workers who are abiding by state law, but want to work for a company that requires a drug test to get hired on.

Mallott said legalization is creating an industry Alaska does not need. Substance abuse is already a local issue here, he said.

The Walker-Mallott ticket is non-partisan, bipartisan and all partisan, Mallott said. The platform is about seeing change in Alaska.

Mallott was the only candidate to speak in support of raising the minimum wage, which he said will stimulate the economy over time. The currently proposed raises are very modest, he said.

“The government should not be trying to artificially set minimum wage standards,” Sullivan said. “That is not the role of the government.”

Lee agreed with Sullivan, saying he does not want the government to interfere with contracts between individuals.

In terms of the Alaska LNG Project, he said the state should be acting as a partner to facilitate success, not to be in a position of ownership.

“I personally believe the pipeline is a pipe dream,” Lee said.

Mallott said he believes the project should move forward in a way that does not create divisiveness within the state.

Sullivan said other methods of generating revenue exist in Alaska, such as the sedentary timber industry, which could be managed as a viable renewable resource. He also pointed to the potential for manufacturing, utilizing some of Alaska’s natural resources.

Each candidate agreed Alaska is a resource rich state, with the potential for a strong economy, if those resources are properly exploited.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander sits inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ostrander to leave City of Kenai in January

Ostrander has served as the city manager since 2017

Melanie Hardin, right, greets the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s Board of Trustees before her interview for the APFC’s executive director’s job Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Juneau, (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Permanent Fund board picks new executive director

Trustees work overtime selecting from three candidates after interviews Monday

A sign welcoming visitors to the Literary Haunted House at the Kenai Community Library can be seen here on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcoming visitors to the Literary Haunted House at the Kenai Community Library can be seen here on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Libraries host haunted houses, scary storytimes, seasonal crafts

It’s all about Halloween at Kenai and Soldotna libraries

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Most Read