Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Official filing period runs Aug. 1-Aug. 15

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer

The 2011 election for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's next mayor is almost four months away, but candidates from across the borough already are announcing plans to have their names on the Oct. 4 ballot.

Letters of intent have been filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission by Dale Bagley of Soldotna, Debbie Holle Brown of Kasilof, Ron Long of Seward, Fred Sturman of Kenai and Gary Superman of Nikiski.

On Tuesday, current Borough Mayor Dave Carey announced he would not seek re-election. (See related story, this page.)

The filing period for borough offices officially opens at 8 a.m. Aug. 1 and closes at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 15. Candidate filing forms are available in mid-July.

In the meantime, Bagley, Brown, Long, Sturman and Superman have hit the campaign trail.


Dale Bagley

Dale Bagley

Bagley is a graduate of Soldotna High School and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983-1987. He was on the Soldotna City Council from 1994-1995, on the borough assembly from 1995-1998 and returned to the Soldotna City Council for 2009-2011. He and his wife, Debbie, have owned Redoubt Realty in Soldotna since 2004. From November 1999-November 2005, Bagley served as the borough mayor.

"It was November both times because there were run-offs both times," said Bagley.

In 1999, Bagley won in a run-off against Mike Navarre. In 2002, he won in a race against Ken Lancaster. In 2005, John Williams was elected borough mayor in a run-off against John Torgerson.

In March, Bagley kicked off a campaign that focuses on economic development.

"I'm concerned about oil and gas industry and making sure there's gas for our homes, supporting commercial fishing and tourism, supporting economic development all the way around," he said.

He also is a proponent of "better government."

"I don't use the slogan 'smaller government,' but 'better government.' There are always things you can do to make it better and to work for the people. Maybe it's smaller, maybe it's doing something in a different way that works better for everybody," he said.

Southern peninsula residents can meet Bagley at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair Aug. 19-20. He also is considering attending KBBI's Concert on the Lawn in Homer on July 30-31. For more information on Bagley, visit www.dalebagley.com.


Debbie Holle Brown

Debbie Holle Brown

Brown came to Homer from Minnesota as a teenager and began her family here. She commercial fished from 1970-1990. Brown has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Alaska Anchorage, was the borough-wide manager for the American Red Cross, served on the borough planning commission from 1990-1995, on the borough assembly from 1995-1998 and on the school board from 2003-2008.

She is currently developing a peony-growing business.

Brown launched her campaign in March, so she could take her time and "get in each community several times so that we don't need to be so pressed for time right at the end and force people to hurry up and make a decision." She sees that as a benefit to her campaign, as well as peninsula voters.

"I want to attend as many events and community opportunities as I can so I can learn and listen from what people are talking about in their local areas," said Brown. "I want to have conversations with people, not just sound bites."

Affordable energy is the top priority facing Alaskans and Kenai Peninsula residents, said Brown.

"We must not be pouring all our profits as small business owners and families into our gas tanks or into our energy," she said. "We can build a Kenai Peninsula that is energy independent. It's achievable. There's no reason we cannot do this."

She supports a natural gas pipeline from Anchor Point to Homer, as well as an in-state, all-Alaska gas line. Her priorities also include a stable economy, employment opportunities and local control of hospitals.

Brown attended Cook Inletkeeper's Beach Bash and the Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run in Homer, and has plans to visit a Homer City Council meeting in the near future.

For more, visit www.votefordebbiebrown.com.


Ron Long

Ron Long

Long grew up in Georgia, began fishing in Bristol Bay in 1981 and has been a Seward resident since 1989. He's worked as a tugboat captain, heavy equipment operator, shellfish hatchery director and a tour boat company operations manager.

For the past 18 years he has owned and operated a marine survey and consultant business. He served on the borough assembly from 2000-2009, acting as president the last two years. In 2005, Long was named the "Elected Official of the Year" by the Alaska Municipal League.

Long began his campaign March for "an opportunity to get out and get to events as early as I can, more time to talk with more people about the things that matter to them."

Viewing the peninsula at a crossroads, Long believes one of the roads ahead involves the borough creating an environment that fosters the establishment of "particularly smaller, family based businesses where people aren't so much tied to the factory or plant, but make a choice about where they want to base their business based on the quality of life." He sees a need to reinvigorate, support and maximize existing industries such as oil and gas, commercial and sport fishing, and tourism.

Long is prepared to relocate to the central peninsula if elected mayor.

"People expect to find the mayor in the mayor's office. If elected mayor, that's where I'll be," said Long.

He planned to be at the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference last weekend, at the Summer Solstice Music Festival in Seldovia this week and at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik next month.

For more information, visit www.ronlongformayor.com.


Fred Sturman

Fred Sturman

Having moved to the peninsula in 1965, Sturman worked in the oil industry, has been a general contractor, and commercial fished for salmon on Cook Inlet beginning in 1986. For almost 10 years he ran a charter boat out of Homer, the Puffin Lady, before selling it to Homer Ocean Charters.

This is Sturman's second campaign for borough mayor. The Soldotna resident threw his hat in the ring six years ago, the year John Williams won the race in the run-off against John Torgerson.

"I see no real conservative people involved. I think we need a conservative person to be running," Sturman said of his reason for seeking election.

He began his campaign in May so peninsula voters can become familiar with who he is.

"I need to be known more in Homer, Seward and other places," he said, adding that he is "pretty well known in the central peninsula."

He plans to visit meetings of the chamber of commerce in the near future and is currently constructing a website where campaign and contact information can be found. He chose not to disclose the site's address at this time.


Gary Superman

Gary Superman

Superman has lived in Nikiski for 36 years. He has worked in construction most of his life, and for the past 18 years has owned Hunger Hut, a bar, motel and liquor store, with his wife.

Superman served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for a total of four terms, beginning 1989-1992, returning in 2001, and reelected in 2004 and 2007. In 2004-2005, he was assembly president. Currently, Superman serves as president of Kenai Peninsula CHARR — Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association — and is a member of Alaska CHARR's board of directors.

Asked why he was running for borough mayor, Superman said, "It's distressing to see what's going on around here, meaning the close-out of several long-term, large, industrial businesses in the north peninsula. There's a net effect that reverberates through most businesses in the north Kenai, of which I am one, so I know what's going on."

Tracking changes in the business arena would allow the borough to prepare for such shifts, said Superman, pointing to the possibility of an in-state gas line coming to the peninsula and to the work currently being done in Canada on a jack-up drilling rig owned by Escopeta Oil and Gas. The company plans to use it to drill exploration wells in Cook Inlet.

"They're doing some of the work on that rig that was going to be done here, so it's a loss immediately for the area. ... We expected to see a little activity out of here," said Superman. "We should be ready for events like that, tracking these events very closely. ... Good news, bad news or neutral, we should be staying on top of these developments."

A web site is currently under construction at www.supermanformayor.com. Until then, Superman can be contacted at (907_ 776-8448 or (907) 252-264.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.