School board member Emil Mackey runs for Assembly

Emil Mackey poses for a photo Aug. 3, 2018, atop the State Office Building in Juneau. Mackey is running for Juneau Assembly. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

A single-term member of the Juneau School Board won’t seek re-election. Instead, he’s running for Assembly.

Emil Mackey said his approach to elected office is to always go in with an open mind.

“You don’t know what you don’t until you’re really in there and you have all the information,” Mackey said. “And we may believe that we have all the information, but until you see it, you really don’t.”

The 47-year-old moved to Juneau in 2013. Before that he lived in Kotzebue and Fairbanks. He holds a Ph.D. in public policy and works for the state’s Division of Insurance.

This month he’s taking a job with the state’s Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The Arkansas native said his personal views aren’t easily pigeonholed.

“I support pro-choice and I’m also pro-road,” Mackey said, “so that right there kind of shows kind of a division between two worlds here in Juneau.”

If he’s elected to the Assembly, Mackey said he’d like to see the city get a handle on its aging facilities.

“If we don’t get that paid down while times are good, relatively, it’s going to really bite us whenever times are bad,” Mackey said. “And so I think that’s something that we really need to look at, is playing catch up on that deferred maintenance.”

Mackey lives in the Mendenhall Valley. He said he’s undecided whether he’ll run in a relatively crowded District 2 field. Or he could seek to finish out the last year of Norton Gregory’s term. That seat is so far, uncontested.

Mackey’s decision not to run for Board of Education leaves at least three seats up for grabs on the seven-member school board.

The deadline to file to file is Aug. 13. The municipal election is Oct. 2.

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