Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 2:06 PM on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Challenger: Peter Micciche

Profiles of Candidates for Senate District O

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Peter Micciche

When Peter A. Micciche moved to the central Kenai Peninsula in 1982, he felt like he had come home.

"This is where I belong," Micciche, who is mayor of Soldotna, said.

What he has witnessed since arriving has shaped his decision to become a Republican candidate for Senate District O.


Residence: Soldotna, Age: 50

Born: Valley Stream, N.Y.

Spouse: Erin

Children: Madeline, 16; Sophia, 6; Lucia, 3

Occupation: Mayor of city of Soldotna since 2008; superintendent of ConocoPhillips Kenai LNG facility/asset and operating integrity; commercial salmon fisherman

In Alaska: 30 years

Alaskan communities resided: Central Kenai Peninsula since 1982

Education: Associate of arts, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska-Anchorage; bachelor of arts in business (organizational) management, summa, Alaska Pacific University

Political and government positions: Soldotna City Council, 2007-2008; Soldotna mayor, 2008-present; Kenai River Special Management Area Board; National Fire Protection Association Council (LNG); USCG Area Maritime Security Committee; Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District Board; Regional Suicide Prevention Team; Alaska Partnership for Infrastructure Protection; Kenai Peninsula Local Emergency Planning Committee

Business and professional positions: Commercial salmon gillnet, 1994-present; natural gas/LNG positions from roustabout to LNG superintendent, 1982-present; small businessman (restaurant, snow plowing, commercial painting, residential rentals), 1983-present.

Service organizations: Sons of the American Legion, Soldotna Rotary, NRA, Boys & Girls Club (board of directors), Soldotna/Kenai chambers of commerce

Special interests: Sport fishing, hunting, ice hockey, youth development, economic development, fish habitat and senior issues

To contact: (907) 252-6759; Email: peter.micciche@acsalaska.net

"I've watched opportunities for young people become sort of a political football ... and I want to help change that," said Micciche. "I'm an extremely blessed man that couldn't ask for anything else. I love my family, my job, I love commercial fishing and I'm the mayor of a great little city, but I feel if decisions are not made in the Senate, the entire state will fail, including Soldotna."

A commercial fisherman who has owned several small businesses, was elected to Soldotna City Council in 2007, has been Soldotna's mayor since 2008 and manages ConocoPhillips' natural gas and LNG facility in Kenai, Micciche gives "no quarter for irresponsible development. ... I know that resource extraction and other heavy industries that drive Alaska's economy must be done right and well."

Micciche graduated with honors from Alaska Pacific University in 2004. He is proud of encouraging community participation in "Envision 2030," Soldotna's comprehensive plan, as well as the financial report the city prepares for its residents. He received the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Golden Apple Award; his knowledge of liquid natural gas earned him the Australia National Award; and he was recognized by ConocoPhillips for his community involvement.

Of that recognition, Micciche said, "It matters most to me because it's not based on anything related to business. It's about what I like to do best, community work."

He believes principles he used as Soldotna's mayor can be applied at the state level.

"Once things are funded that we need, then we think about the excess dollars and funding what we want," he said. "In four years, we've cut the budget 1.8 percent and cut the mill rate twice."

Applying that to Alaska, Micciche said, "I worry when we're spending more and revenue is dropping that we'll end up in a situation like the state of California. ... That's essentially from folks trying to please too many people with projects not well considered. We're increasing the budget 6-7 percent a year. That's simply not sustainable when revenue is dropping at the same rate."

His involvement in the natural gas industry causes him to "very much believe in the future of natural gas in Alaska." He supports a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope because of its environmental and economic benefits, and the jobs it would create in construction and related industries. He also believes bringing natural gas to the southern peninsula "is clearly a need."

"I'm not saying I believe that we should hand the infrastructure to every community, but it's clearly costing all of the taxpayers of the Kenai Peninsula excess energy costs without having the gas here," he said.

Asked about his opponent's weaknesses, Micciche referred to Sen. Tom Wagoner's "stampede" of increased oil and gas exploration in Cook Inlet.

"We need leaders that will get in front of these issues before they become a crisis ... to make sure the industries are available to keep Alaskans employed in sustainable positions for the long term," said Micciche.

Unlike Wagoner, Micciche said he would have not have participated in a bipartisan collation.

With regard to running against an incumbent, Micciche said, "People of the Kenai need to understand that incumbency in this case has not worked for them, is not working for the state and is not going to work in the future. It's OK to take a chance when you finally have a candidate that has the background, record and willingness to get things done for Alaskans."

By the time redistricting defined boundaries for District O, Micciche had already decided to run for Senate.

"When I found out that it was coming south to Homer, I was pleased," he said, noting his involvement in the southern peninsula through Boys & Girls Club, the Homer Playground Project and art events. "Folks in Homer are extremely involved in their community. I think they realize I'm a man and we're a family very involved in community and as active in Homer as anywhere else in the district."