With just two weeks left before Juneau’s municipal election, a new candidate launched a write-in campaign for the city’s school board on Tuesday. So why is Will Muldoon is throwing his hat in the ring now?
This isn’t the first time Muldoon has run for school board, but it’s the first time he’s entered late as a write-in candidate.
“I know it’s pretty unconventional to launch a two-week write-in campaign,” Muldoon said. “But I think it’s worthy and I think I do have a shot of winning it if I keep at it.”
At first, he wasn’t planning to run this year.
“I had some folks reach out to me early on in the campaign trying to encourage me to run,” Muldoon said. “Then I got a lot more feedback from folks after the League of Women Voters forum and also during the last week.”
Many of those who reached out to him were concerned about some of the candidates’ stances on COVID-19 mitigation policies in schools, like wanting to get rid of the mask mandate in classrooms.
“People were just very nervous about that,” Muldoon said. “I agreed with them that masks work. I think the mitigation policies are sound. I think they’re science-based and I don’t want to see that change.”
Muldoon has lived in Juneau for 25 years and works for the State of Alaska as a data processor. He doesn’t have any children of his own, but he’s related to about a half dozen kids currently enrolled in the school district.
At 37-years-old, Muldoon has served on several other city boards. At the moment, he serves on the CBJ Aquatics Board and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.
Muldoon has run for school board twice in the past, but didn’t win. He entered one of those races at just 18 years old.
“I thought that I still had an understanding of what it was like to be in the schools at that time and schools were tough for me,” Muldoon said. “I was intelligent, I understood the subject matter, but my interest wasn’t really there. I wasn’t really invested in the day to day.”
That’s when one of Muldoon’s teachers made a big difference.
“My high school government teacher was Laury Scandling and she got me set up with a service learning project where I worked with the parks and rec department to install the ‘clean up after your dog’ stations 20 years ago,” Muldoon said.
Muldoon said that experience set him on a path of civic duty and landed him an internship with the legislature.
“I think that raising good children and active community members and future leaders is something that we should all strive to be an active part of,” Muldoon said. “I think that we all have a sense of responsibility and a civic duty to step in where we can and that’s my primary driver.”
Although it will be an uphill battle to get the word out before the election on Oct. 5, Muldoon said he wouldn’t run if he didn’t think he still had a chance.