Olson defeats Thornton in District 30 race

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, November 5, 2014 12:56am
  • News

Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna has been re-elected for a sixth term in the Alaska State House.

Representing District 30, Olson received 3,869 votes, winning 74 percent in six out of six reporting precincts on Tuesday’s general election.

Olson’s opponent, Democratic candidate Shauna Thornton, received 1,352 votes, winning 25 percent.

Olson said he commended Thornton for her positive, first-time campaigning.

“We ran one of the cleanest races in the state,” Olson said. “We both ran on the issues and there was little negative advertising.”

Olson considers his progressive advocacy for workers compensation to be his biggest achievement from his years in Juneau, he said in a previous Clarion interview. He said he wanted to return and tie up some loose ends left over from the last session.

During his next term Olson said he predicts local developments in the oil and gas industry with the pending Alaska LNG project, and the pressure of revenue cuts will be two of the biggest issues the house will be faced with.

Olson and Thornton both went on foot during their campaigns, knocking on doors and talking to central Kenai Peninsula residents in their own homes.

Soldotna resident Brenda Quinn said her vote went to Olson because of his many years of experience advocating for Kenai and Soldotna.

Olson has proved himself worthy of the Republican vote, said Kenai resident Mark Weiss.

Kenai resident Rentlek Sarrif, said Olson halts bad policy before it can move forward in the House, and supports bills that are positive for the Central Kenai Peninsula.

Kenai resident Wendy Olsen said she supports Olson because his political views match up closely with her own.

It was difficult running as the challenger to an incumbent, Thornton said in a previous Clarion interview. She chose to campaign up until the evening of the election.

“I will be on the corner (of Main Street and the Kenai Spur Highway) in Kenai all day until 6 p.m.,” Thornton said, referring to the corner.

Soldotna resident Felissa Welch said she voted for Shauna Thornton based on her character. Thornton seems to be a nice, genuine person and easy to talk to.

Welch said she met Thornton while she was campaigning on the street in person only days before the election and decided to support her. Welch said she chooses politicians based on their character and beliefs.

Ann Hall was a co-worker of Thornton’s at the Kenai Peninsula College for many years.

“Shauna has always been dedicated to getting the job done,” Hall said. “She has always advocated for the people.”

Kenai resident Colleen Nusbaum said Thornton is not a typical politician. Thornton is level headed and understands the community’s needs, she said.

Thornton said next time around she will do ten times more on-foot campaigning than she did during this year’s race.

“We’re just going to come back next time harder and faster, and bigger and better,” Thornton said. “(I will be running for the) same race, same seat same everything. I am not going away.”

After his own results came in, Olson said he would most likely be up until 4 a.m. following the gunbernatorial and national elections that will have an impact on Alaska.

“That’s what happens when you are a political junky,” Olson said. “You never get enough.”

 

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

 

More in News

National Weather Service radar for the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska on Aug. 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
Rain, rain and more rain

Low pressure systems drive wet conditions in Southcentral

Sockeye salmon return to Steep Creek to spawn. Alaska’s overall commercial salmon harvest across all species is currently up 15% from 2021 (2020 for pinks) with Bristol Bay and the Prince William Sound largely carrying the weight while other regions lag, according to data from the most recent Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute weekly salmon harvest update. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Statewide salmon harvest on the upswing compared to last year

Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound are mainly pulling the weight

Jake Dye / Peninsula Clarion
Congressional candidate Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3 in Kenai . Early Wednesday, Peltola had earned 38.4% of first-choice votes in a race that will determine who fills Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat until January.
Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Democratic candidate Peltola leads U.S. House race early, but Palin may win in final count

Former governor and Republican U.S. House candidate Sarah Palin stands to benefit from ranked choice voting

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations on the rise

86 patients were hospitalized with 10 patients on ventilators

2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pierce among leaders in governor’s race

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy leads the pack overall

Braeden Garrett holds signs supporting Alaska House of Representatives candidate Justin Ruffridge at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ruffridge, Babcock lead in early primary results

Unofficial preliminary primary election results showed significant margins between the first- and second-place candidates

Pollworkers Carol Louthan (center) and Harmony Bolden (right) work at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Local voters cast ballots, try out ranked choice

Locally, multiple candidates have their sights set on seats in the Alaska Legislature.

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka joins Donald Trump on stage during a rally at the Alaska Airlines Center on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Tshibaka is seeking to become one of four candidates to advance in the U.S. Senate race during Alaska’s primary election Tuesday, Aug. 16. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka joins Donald Trump on stage during a rally at the Alaska Airlines Center on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Tshibaka is seeking to become one of four candidates to advance in the U.S. Senate race during Alaska’s primary election Tuesday, Aug. 16. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Murkowski advances in Senate race, Palin in House

Kelly Tshibaka, her GOP rival endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was among the candidates bound for the November general election

Most Read