Tuesday’s primary election was pretty low-key in Southeast Alaska. The real battle for state House and Senate candidates will come during the general election. But a few trends emerged.
Voter turnout for the primary election was low yesterday (08-17-16), as Sitkans chose their party candidates for the U.S. Senate, House, and Alaska state legislature.
Southeast Alaska's four House and two Senate districts have no primary contests this year. Two have no contests at all.
A fifth of Alaska legislators running this year face no opposition. One is Sitka Sen. Bert Stedman, who faces no contest – for the second time.
Republican senator Bert Stedman, who serves Southeast’s islands from Icy Strait to the border, will join his fellow legislators as they gavel into session on Tuesday (01-19-15). KCAW’s Emily Kwong sat down with Stedman to talk about his session priorities. He says he wants to ensure that - in the battle of what to cut - Southeast gets a fair deal.
Sen. Bert Stedman told the Sitka Chamber that the operating budget is “messy,” and a serious effort should be made before the legislature turns to the Permanent Fund for help.
With the state in the throes of the most significant budget crisis in its history, Sitkans may be surprised to see ground broken next spring on a multi-million dollar project.
State and local officials, including Gov. Bill Walker, gathered in Sitka on Friday (5-8-15) to formally dedicate the Blue Lake dam. The largest public works project in city history, it’s projected to meet the city’s electricity needs for the next thirty years.
Stedman may be looking at one of the most difficult legislative sessions of his career. He openly opposed the previous governor’s changes to Alaska’s oil tax structure, anticipating a day of reckoning -- one that's come sooner than anyone expected.
Did you miss our live Town Hall Meeting, Driving Us Crazy: How to Pay for Pavement in Sitka?
You can listen to the program in its entirety here. Municipal administrator Mark Gorman, public works director Michael Harmon, and a panel of special guests including Hugh Bevan, Max Rule, Gerry Hope, and Sen. Bert Stedman discuss ideas for tackling the millions of dollars in repairs needed for Sitka’s city streets.