More Alaskans are filing to run for the state Legislature as the deadline approaches.
As of this morning, only a quarter of the races remained without a challenger. That number was close to half earlier this week, and about a third Thursday.
The filing deadline for the August 28th primary is 5 p.m. today (June 1st).
All 40 House seats are on the ballot, as they always are. Nineteen of 20 Senate seats are also up for grabs.
Only 10 Senate seats are usually on the ballot. But redistricting changed boundaries enough to require all but one go before voters. That one is Juneau’s Senate district.
Retired University of Alaska political science professor Clive Thomas says those new boundaries may be a factor in unchallenged seats.
“It might have put off some people. I think that basically, the way redistricting works, it’s a political process, whatever people may say,” Thomas says.
Unopposed state Senators are Wasilla Republican Charlie Huggins, Eagle River Republican Fred Dyson, Anchorage Democrat Johnny Ellis, Kenai Republican Tom Wagoner, Bethel Democrat Lyman Hoffman, and Kodiak Republican Gary Stevens.
Unopposed Anchorage House candidates are Democrat Andy Josephson and Republicans Bob Lynn and Mike Hawker. Those from Juneau are Republican Cathy Muñoz and Democrat Beth Kerttula.
Also unopposed: Nikiski Republican Mike Chenault, Haines Republican Bill Thomas, Kodiak Republican Alan Austerman and Bethel Democrat Bob Herron.
- This week, 88 Energy announced they've started setting up a rig on the North Slope to drill a second well for Project Icewine. According to a recent 88 Energy presentation, the company thinks its leases may hold between 1.4 and 3.6 billion barrels of oil.
- The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 -- the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers.
- Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers, affecting two in five executive branch workers.
- The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.