In two debates last Friday and Tuesday, Republican Party candidates for House District 31 representative answered questions on everything from books to marijuana to support for seniors. But it was another “b” word — the budget — that dominated discussions at debates sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library and the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
For almost 12 years I have had the privilege of representing the City of Homer which has prepared me well for the current financial situation facing us at the state level. The financial integrity of the city has been a large focus of my attention and actions that I have promoted have resulted in:
• General fund reserve balances compliant with governmental accounting standards;
• Budget reductions;
• Establishment of the Homer Permanent Fund;
• Reinstatement of the Economic Development Com-mission;
• Reduction of property taxes; and,
You have a choice to make — Outside and Industry money is being used for negative ads and I feel I should respond to those distortions.
I have been a Republican all my life. I believe in the big tent philosophy with a diversity of views — but in the spirit of President Eisenhower, I am leery of the military industrial complex and corporate monopolies having undue influence on our political process.
As we head into the final days prior to the election, we are faced with troubling and very difficult decisions. Whom do I cast my vote for? Representative Seaton, Mayor Wythe, or Businessman John Cox?
Early voting, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 11-12, Aug. 15, Homer City Hall
Election Day, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday
Republican Party ballot (must be a registered Republican, nonpartisan or undeclared vote)
House District 31 Representative: Paul Seaton, Mary E. “Beth” Wythe and John “Bear” Cox
State Senator, District P: Gary Stevens
U.S. Senator: Bob Lochner, Lisa Murkowski, Paul Kendall and Thomas Lamb
Republican Party candidates also answered some short, noncontroversial questions in the Homer Public Library Debate on Friday, Aug. 5. Here are answers by John Cox, Paul Seaton and Beth Wythe
Question: What was the last book you read and what newspapers do you read?
At a debate last Friday at the Homer Public Library, Republican Party candidates for House District 31 representative took some easy questions like “What is your favorite book?” or “What foreign languages do you know?”, but the discussion centered on issues key to Alaska’s future. What is the biggest budget issue? How would you cut the budget? Do you support new taxes?
Sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library, moderator Andrew Haas asked questions thought up in advance as well as new questions from the audience. About 75 people attended the debate.
Interview with John Cox
John Cox, one of the three candidates for the State House District 31 seat, is a business owner in Anchor Point, where he has lived for the past 10 years.
Cox moved to Alaska originally with his family when his father, who was in the Army, was stationed in the state. When Cox turned 18, he declared Alaska residency before joining the Navy. He served for 30 years, and then moved to Anchor Point to settle down as a businessman.
In running for House District 31 Representative, Homer Mayor Beth Wythe follows a time-tested approach: earn experience and name recognition in local politics and take the jump to the state level. Hers is a voice heard twice a month for the past 12 years on KBBI AM 890’s broadcasts of Homer City Council meetings. She served eight years on the council and will have served two terms as mayor as of this October.
Editor's note: The date of when Paul Seaton was first elected to the House of Representatives has been corrected. He was elected in 2002 and started in the Legislature in 2003.
Editor’s Note: As part of Homer News coverage leading up to the Aug. 16 primary, in this week’s edition we introduce the candidates running for the District 31 House seat and give their responses to a set of questions. The candidates were individually interviewed and asked the same questions, with responses edited for length. Next week, the candidates will have the opportunity to write on the issues of their choice. For additional questions and longer answers from the candidates, please go to HomerNews.Com.
Candidates Paul Seaton, Mary “Beth” Wythe and John Cox will take part in debates hosted by the Homer Public library and the Homer Chamber of Commerce over the next week.
Both forums are open to the public.
The chamber debate will address topics important to the local business community, including taxes, schools, renewable energy, health care, state budget and local jobs.
Andy Haas will moderate the forum hosted by the Friends of the Homer Library at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Homer Public Library.
As of noon Wednesday, two candidates have filed for city office. Homer City Council member Bryan Zak has filed for mayor and Homer Advisory Planning Commissioner Tom Stroozas has filed for city council. Zak and council member Gus VanDyke’s seats are up for election. Both are 3-year terms. Homer Mayor Beth Wythe’s seat also is up for election. It has a 2-year term. Wythe announced last year that she is not running for re-election and instead is challenging Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, for Republican Party nomination for the House District 31 seat.
In the Republican Party race for House District 31 Representative, contributions have ranged from just $400 for John Cox to $24,047 for the incumbent, Rep. Paul Seaton, according to Alaska Public Offices Commission filings as of July 15.
Only members of the Republican Party or nonpartisan or undeclared voters may vote this ballot. All names are listed in the order and as they appear on the ballot. All candidates are Republican Party members.
Wright, Stephen T.
Heikes, Gerald L.
Tingley, Jesse J. “Messy”
State Senator, District P
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stood out at the Alaska Democratic caucuses on Saturday as the clear winner. Sanders received 81.6 percent of the delegates and 79.6 percent of the votes, according to results released by the Alaska Democratic Party.
The 10,617 Alaskans who attended caucuses across the state equaled 119 percent of the 2008 turnout.
Members of the Alaska Democratic Party get their chance to vote for their party’s presidential candidate when the party holds meetings statewide on Saturday morning. Unlike the Republican Party’s presidential preference poll, held on March 1 in which party members voted on a ballot, Democrats select their candidate through a caucus.
Editor's note: This story was changed to correct the date of the special election for Proposition 1. The election is Dec. 1.
In unofficial results in a run-off election for a Homer City Council seat, political newcomer Heath Smith easily beat incumbent city council member Beauregard Burgess with 310 votes to Burgess’ 192, a 118-vote margin.
With 115 absentee votes and two special needs votes to be counted, or 117 votes total, Burgess still could not win even if he took every one of the uncounted votes.
Some years ago as I stood in the national archives building and read from the original copy of our Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, I could not help but reflect on Lincoln’s closing words in his Gettysburg address ”...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
I first ran for Homer City Council more than three years ago, because I wanted to put a simple idea to the test — Could an elected official be someone I could trust and respect and still get re-elected? Can a politician be transparent, clear on his position, approach each issue with regard for evidence rather than preconception? Can people tolerate or even appreciate issued-based discourse?