Marshall Albertson is one of eight people running for two open seats on the Sitka Assembly. And while he wants to make Sitka more affordable, he’s received more attention for his online videos.
54-year-old Marshall Albertson is a 21-year resident of Sitka. He owns three businesses– Munchie Mart, Guns of Alaska and Absolute Tree Care. He says he’s running for a seat on the local assembly to be a voice for conservatives.
“I don’t think Sitka is being represented fairly. I think it’s being represented mainly from the liberal side of things,” he says. “And the ‘silent majority’, which are not on the liberal side of things, they seem to get the short end of the stick most of the time.”
If he’s elected, Albertson says he wants to make Sitka more affordable and business friendly– he’s particularly interested in affordable housing and reducing sales taxes in Sitka.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous here,” he says. “Can you imagine being a graduate from high school or something, and even if you get a decent job, say making fifteen to seventeen dollars an hour? You can’t even rent an apartment,” he says. “You have to have two or three roommates just to survive and pay your bills.”
Albertson was recently in the news when he threatened to sue the city for only offering federal CARES Act funds for one of his three businesses. He also made the news when he came armed to a vigil in honor of George Floyd in Sitka’s Totem Square, and said he was prepared to use his firearm, should the vigil turn into a riot.
Many Sitkans were concerned by Albertson’s attitude that evening, and even more deeply troubled by his posts to TikTok, a social media platform where users create 60-second videos from their cell phones. Albertson has posted over 130 videos on TikTok (and on his YouTube channel), many of which could be considered threatening, sometimes even racist, transphobic or sexist. But Albertson doesn’t see it that way.
“What you see is what you get. You know, I don’t put on airs, I don’t lie to people, I don’t tell ’em what they want to hear,” he says. “I tell them the truth, and I think they respect that. Even if it’s not the answer they always want to hear, I think they respect somebody just speaking plain to ’em and honestly.”
As protests erupted across the lower 48, he said he would go to Oregon, armed to defend police officers and property. Here’s a transcript from another video, where Albertson responds to a news story about Seattle’s municipal employees receiving mandated diversity training.
The government telling ’em how privileged they are and they gotta start making changes ‘cuz they’re white f***ing privileged and s***. You know what, you mother*****s want a war? Let’s just have a f***ing war! Patriots, it’s time to stand up! Let’s get guns in everybody’s f***ing hands. Help me do that. I will put hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of guns in other peoples’ hands! Because people, the war is getting ready to, it’s already started. I’m serious, stand up.
In some videos, he references Sitkans, assembly members and local entities by name, including KCAW. In a recent YouTube video, he named a Sitkan who had filed a stalking order against him (The protective order was later “cancelled” in Sitka court). Albertson said the man should, “Be put down like a rabid dog.” Some of the videos have since been deleted.
Although Albertson says he may “tone it down” should he be elected to public office, and says he can work with people whom he disagrees with, he nevertheless stands by every video he’s made.
“When it comes to my videos, you know, maybe I’m heated and stuff. But tell me anything I’m saying that’s not true. I might not say it all nice and bushy like a lot of people might would like. But I’m definitely speaking the truth, and if that turns some people off, I apologize for that. But it is who I am,” he says. “I’m not lying to nobody, and I’m not going to change my values, what I believe in.”
Marshall Albertson is one of eight candidates vying for two open seats on the Sitka Assembly. Raven Radio will provide continuous coverage in the weeks leading up to the municipal election on October 6.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story had a typo in the transcript- the transcript from Albertson’s Tik Tok video included “It’s time to stand up” twice, when Albertson only said it once. The transcript has been corrected. It was amended again to reflect that some of the TikTok videos cited in the story were later deleted.