A crowded Republican field for governor competes outside of spotlight

State seal podium 2016 06 19

The seal of the state of Alaska in the governor’s temporary offices in Juneau in 2016. Seven Republicans are running for their party’s nomination to be governor. Five have received less attention. They give various reasons for running. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

There are seven candidates in Tuesday’s primary to become the Republican nominee for governor of Alaska. Former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy and former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell have received most of the attention. But there are five other candidates running.

In their own voices, four of these candidates describe why they’re running. Palmer drywall company owner Gerald Heikes didn’t respond to requests to participate.

Darin Colbry, an Anchorage janitor

“When they cut the PFD, that kind of made me upset, because that’s our livelihood. That money can go to the people of the state. And what I want to do is make that retroactive. … And have the state pay a 2 percent interest. … And so everybody will get their money back and with a 2 percent interest.”

Tom Gordon, a Wasilla heavy equipment mechanic

“I’m a Native Alaskan. I got involved in the election out of concern that most of our ballot is covered by people who I don’t think are going to be capable of leading our state out of the trouble that it’s in economically. We need to kind of, like, curtail some of the legislation that’s been cursing our state and innocent citizens.”

Michael Sheldon, a Petersburg handyman

“The reason why I’m running for governor is to protect the PFD dividend program, to stop abortion, and to create a budget called 81-9-10 plan. I think it’s essential that we downsize government, streamline and build a government that’s going to be for the people, by the people of the state of Alaska. Please cast your vote on Aug. 21, 2018, for Michael D. Sheldon for governor. Thank you.”

Merica Hlatcu, an Anchorage engineer

“I will help the people first, and businesses, and the economy will prosper. … All gold from Alaska, no more (from) Canada, Russia or another country. And when you got the gold in your bank, you got (an) economy. That, I want to do. And I’ll fix the forest recovery, and plant new trees. … I don’t agree (with a) pipeline from Alaska to Canada. Never!”

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