With the new year comes a new election for the Alaska State Legislature.
Several local lawmakers’ seats are up for the ballot this fall, including Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai/Soldotna, and Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer.
In District 29 — which spans the area from Nikiski to Seward to Funny River and Sterling — Carpenter is the representative and is currently the only candidate registered to run in the district in 2020. Carpenter filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission last week.
Knopp represents District 30, where he is registered to run for his seat again. He was first elected to the seat in 2016 and again in 2018. Knopp isn’t the only contender for the seat representing Kenai and Soldotna. Former state Rep. Kelly Wolf and Ron Gillham are both running against Knopp for the District 30 seat in 2020.
Gillham ran in the 2018 Republican primary race for the District O Senate seat in an effort unseat Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Kenai/Soldotna. Wolf served in the House of Representatives in the early 2000s and ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2014.
On the southern peninsula in District 31, Vance is running for reelection against Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly President Kelly Cooper of Homer.
Also on the southern peninsula, Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, is running for reelection to his current seat of District P, which represents the southern peninsula and Kodiak.
In this year’s election, there will be 51 legislative seats up for grabs across the state. Prospective candidates have until June 1 to enter the 2020 legislative elections. Candidates should note that they are required to file a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission before any fundraising can begin. Candidates can also register with the Division of Elections and fundraise later. The state limits donations to $500 per candidate per calendar year, meaning candidates who registered before the beginning of the year can receive donations twice.