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.
- For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus.
- The U.S. Senate is working on the health care bill, and Alaska health commissioner Valerie Davidson is in Washington, D.C., to meet with Alaska's senators, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. One-quarter of Alaska's population currently is covered by Medicaid.
- Police posted this security video of the suspect on its Facebook page and described him as white, 25 to 30 years old, 6-foot-3 and skinny with scruffy facial hair.
- Uber and Lyft are negotiating with the City and Borough of Juneau over the collection of the city's sales tax. The companies insist it's the drivers' responsibility to collect and remit the 5 percent tax on fares.