Only one of Juneau’s two democratic state representatives will have a challenger in the November election.
Former state chief economist Ed King intends to run as an independent against Democratic Rep. Andi Story in District 34. The district includes the Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay and out the road.
King said Monday he’s running to address Alaska’s financial situation.
“Year after year we’ve been kind of just kicking the can, spending money out of savings, not really changing the structure, not really addressing the structural problems,” King said. “I think something has to change.”
King is a veteran and has lived in Juneau for four years. Since leaving his job with the state last year, he started his own firm focused on Alaska’s economy.
He said he hopes to help bridge the partisan divide in the Legislature, especially when it comes to the unpopular subject of a statewide tax.
“I personally prefer an income tax to a sales tax. But a property tax … should be up for discussion,” he said. “We have to raise revenue somehow.”
Running without the backing of a political party and in the midst of a pandemic will be a challenge, King said, but he’s up for it.
Before his name can appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, he has to collect 89 signatures and file a nominating petition with the Division of Elections. He has until the Aug. 18 primary election to submit everything.
Story and Rep. Sara Hannan — who represents District 33 including downtown, Douglas and the upper Lynn Canal — were both elected in 2018 and filed to run for reelection last year.