Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:28 PM on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Challenger: Jon Faulkner

Profiles of Candidates for house District 30

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer


Jon Faulkner

In the Aug. 28 Republican Party race for House District 30, Homer businessman Jon Faulkner hopes to do to Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, what Seaton did to Rep. Drew Scalzi in 2002: defeat a multi-term incumbent in the primary.

Faulkner, 51, was born and raised in Alaska and has lived in Homer for 23 years. Faulkner touts his business experience as one of his major accomplishments that qualifies him to represent the new District 30. He bought Land's End in 1998, turning it from a property worth $750,000 and generating $1 million in season revenues to a year-round, $20 million facility that includes an upscale, seaside condominium complex and employs 65 year-round employees with $6 million in revenues.


Residence: Homer

Age: 51

Born: Anchorage

Spouse: Sara, married 28 years

Children: Katie, Andrew, William, Kristen and Nicholas

Occupation: Hotel management

In Alaska: entire life, 51 years

Alaska communities lived in: Anchorage, 1960-1990; Homer, 1990-present

Education: Anchorage, West High, 1976; St. Paul's School, 1977-1979, high school diploma; Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.,1979-1983, bachelor of arts in American history and literature

Political and government positions: 1989, Founding board member, Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council (Borough); 1997; Commissioner, Homer Economic Development Commission (City of Homer); 2006, board member, Kenai Wild (Borough)

Business and professional positions: Past president-elect and board member, Alaska Hotel and Lodging Association

Service organizations: Rotary Club, Paul Harris Fellow; National Federation Of Independent Business; National Rifle Association; Homer Chamber of Commerce; Alaska Tourism Industry Association

Special Interests: Coach, Homer Hockey Association and Little League, combined eight years; private pilot instructor; religious education, St. John's Catholic Church

To contact: Email: Votefaulkner@gmail.comWebsite: www.Votejonfaulkner.com

He's most proud, though, of raising a good family with his wife Sara.

"I worked hard at it. I'm proud of my kids, proud of my accomplishments," Faulkner said.

Several things came together to make this a good time for him to run, Faulkner said. First, his children are grown and on their own, which helped make his wife supportive of his campaign. Second, Faulkner's businesses are running well with good staff. Faulkner owns Land's End Resort, the Van Gilder Hotel in Seward and Kenai Landing. He recently sold the fish landing portion of Kenai Landing to Great Pacific Seafoods. Third, Faulkner said he and others had grown concerned about the lack of choice in the local House race.

"It's never good for democracy," he said.

Faulkner also isn't shy about saying the new district influenced his decision to run. While the old District 35 included Seward and had a fishing community focus, the new, western peninsula district extends from Seldovia to Funny River and takes in rural road system towns like Ninilchik, Kasilof and Clam Gulch. "Absolutely. No question about it," Faulkner said when asked if redistricting influenced his decision to run.

With half the new district citizens not represented previously by Seaton, Faulkner said he thinks that will help neutralize the incumbent advantage. "It gives a nonincumbent a fighting chance," he said.

There's also another aspect to the new district Faulkner cited.

"Clearly, a more conservative district," he said. "It's more conservative north of here."

The focus of Faulkner's campaign has been to distinguish himself as a more conservative Republican Party candidate sympathetic to what he calls the core values of conservatism: respect and promotion of free enterprise and competition, less government control and regulation, and respect for faith issues.

Faulkner makes a connection between local concerns with big government and the national debate over the role of government in daily life, particularly with the Affordable Health Care Act, President Barack Obama's sweeping change of national health care. Last century during the Progressive Era of Teddy Roosevelt, the private sector went through more government regulation, Faulkner said.

"Now, 100 years later, that is completely flipped on its head and you ask, 'Is there anything government should not do?'" Faulkner said. "The challenge for Americans is to answer that question."

When asked about Seaton's strengths, Faulkner praised his opponent.

"He's a gentleman. He's a family man. He's a public servant. He's sacrificed his life to serve his community," Faulkner said. "I think his intentions are good."

Seaton's biggest weakness is a lack of leadership, particularly when he isn't clear on how he stands on issues, Faulkner said. At a campaign appearance last week at the Homer Senior Center, Faulkner used an example: Seaton not coming out for or against the Pebble mine. Seaton said that Pebble has the right to file and work a mining claim, and it would be a taking of property if the state outright prohibited the mine before the permitting process went through.

Faulkner also criticizes Seaton for poor rankings by business groups like the Alaska branch of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. On one of Seaton's major accomplishments, helping get the Anchor Point-Homer gas line built, Faulkner said he would not stand in the way of building and expanding the line, but did say he felt Enstar Natural Gas should have built it.

Issues Faulkner has heard in his campaign include fisheries, particularly the decline in king salmon, the economy and education. Faulkner, some of whose children have attended East Coast boarding schools, favors what he calls state-funded "parental scholarships" to pay for home school and private school education in state.