Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file) Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Local candidates report support from state PACs

Labor unions and the National Education Association are among the groups putting money into Kenai Peninsula state election races

Labor unions and the National Education Association are among the groups with political action committees putting money into Kenai Peninsula state election races, according to data filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

With less than a week to go before Alaska’s 2022 primary election, new campaign finance reports offer the latest glimpse into who’s backing candidates vying to represent the Kenai Peninsula for the state.

The National Education Association’s Alaska Political Action Committee for Education has contributed funds to both the central Kenai Peninsula’s Alaska State House and State Senate races. The group contributed $1,000 to Alaska State Senate hopeful Jesse Bjorkman, who is also a teacher at Nikiski Middle/High School, and $1,000 to State House hopeful Justin Ruffridge.

Ruffridge and Bjorkman also reported financial support from the Alaska State Employees Association Local 52 Political Action Committee, which contributed $1,000 to each of their campaigns. Both also received $1,000 from the Alaska Public Employees Association.

Candidate Tuckerman Babcock, who is running against Bjorkman for the northern peninsula’s State Senate seat, reported a $500 contribution from the Alaska Mining Association’s political action committee, which supports candidates who support the mining industry in Alaska.

In all, the four candidates have raised a combined total of more than $150,000 in their bid for seats in the Alaska Legislature. Babcock has led the pack financially, raising about $85,800 throughout his campaign. He’s followed by Bjorkman, who’s raised about $32,000, Ruffridge with $29,000 and Gillham with $11,500.

Election day is Aug. 16, however, early voting opened Aug. 1. Early voting for State House districts 5, 6, 7 and 8 is available at Soldotna Prep School, located at 426 W Redoubt Ave. in Soldotna, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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