Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:49 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fifth candidate announces for mayor

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Gary Superman

Gary Superman of Nikiski has thrown his hat into the ring of candidates in the 2011 race for Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor.

That brings the number of candidates to five, with Dale Bagley of Soldotna, Debbie Holle Brown of Kasilof, Ron Long of Seward and Fred Sturman of Kenai already on the campaign trail.

"I expect some others may throw in, but if you want to be serious, you've got to throw in a little before the filing date," Superman told the Homer News, referring to the filing period for borough offices that 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.

Originally from Springfield, Mass., Superman has lived in Nikiski for the past 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. In 2005, he ran for borough mayor and came in third, taking 15.46 percent of the vote. 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."

Support from the federal government is another outside force that impacts the borough's business climate, Superman said.

"Spending up here is a huge component of the economy. It bleeds down to the local level. I think we need to be aware of that and gird ourselves for what could happen here," said Superman. "In other words, no out-of-control spending at the local level."

Overall, he said he "thinks the borough is in fairly good shape financially and I want to make sure we stay that way."

A web site, complete with a schedule of campaign activities, 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 mckib- ben.jackinsky@homernews.com.