The Alaska Center’s Endorsed Legislative candidates 2018

This year, The Alaska Center completed a robust candidate endorsement process, which included a candidate questionnaire and follow-up interviews. In those questionnaires, we asked candidates about issues related to clean energy, healthy salmon habitat, and a strong democracy. We also asked candidates to commit to our Code of Conduct, which focuses on issues of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment of any form. At The Alaska Center, we hold ourselves to these standards and we expect our elected officials and those running for office to do the same.

We are excited to announce the State House and Senate candidates who have received such an endorsement! Below is the full list of candidates who we have endorsed.

The first few candidates highlighted are those who we believe are critical to attaining our electoral goals, which includes building and protecting the State House Coalition as well as eroding the power structures in the State Senate. Enjoy!

Kathryn Dodge

House District 1 (Fairbanks)

Kathryn Dodge made her way to Alaska in 1973 and has been a committed public servant through her work on the Fairbanks Borough Assembly, staff to Borough Mayor, and the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. She is committed to a clean air future for Fairbanks and will work to promote energy efficiency policy solutions.

Kathryn is running to fill the open seat left by Rep. Scott Kawasaki who is running for the district’s State Senate seat. It is critical that we elect Kathryn to this seat in order to maintain the State House Coalition.

Pat Higgins

House District 25 (South Anchorage)

In 2016 Pat Higgins was in a neck in neck race with the incumbent republican challenger in this district. In the end, Pat lost by under 100 votes. This year, we want to work to elect Pat to the State House! Pat will be an advocate for our values, including issues like moving to more sustainable energy sources and ensuring our wild salmon have adequate protections.

This will be another close race and we are prioritizing this district in our overall plans to protect and build the State House Coalition in this year’s election cycle.

Liz Snyder

House District 27 (East Anchorage)

The excitement around Liz Snyder’s candidacy in this district is contagious! We are proud to endorse and work to elect a candidate who is an advocate for conservation issues and a specialist in the field of food security. Liz will be a strong voice for issues around climate change, protecting our wild Alaska salmon, and ensuring all Alaskans have a voice in the decision making process.

Liz is working hard and it is our job to support her! The Alaska Center is happy to prioritize this race in an effort to unseat the republican incumbent narrowly won by less than 300 votes in 2016.

Ed Alexander

House District 6 (Interior)

Ed Alexander is a lifelong Alaskan and currently works as the Education Manager for the Tanana Chiefs Conference (representing 39 member tribes in the region). Ed is running to represent a house district that is larger than the state of New Jersey. A powerful education, energy, and rural advocate, he believes in a just and sustainable future for our state. He is a staunch supporter of environmental issues like salmon habitat protection and aggressive and equitable renewable energy development.

Scott Kawasaki

Senate District A (Fairbanks)

Scott Kawasaki has represented Fairbanks in the State Legislature for over a decade. The Alaska Center is excited to be supporting him in his run for State Senate. Through his time in the Legislature, Scott has been an advocate for many conservation issues, including advocating for funding for energy efficiency upgrades and clean air protections as well as advocating on voting rights issues. In 2013, Scott was honored by Alaska Youth for Environmental Action teens as “Legislator of the Year.”

We see this race as an exciting opportunity to move the Senate away from the strong partisan divide that currently exists. Scott is running against a republican challenger who has proven himself an opponent to many issues we care about and has refused to pass any substantial fiscal reforms.

Grier Hopkins
House District 4

Grier Hopkins is running to fill the open seat left by his uncle, Rep. David Guttenberg. A lifelong resident of Fairbanks, Grier will bring fresh energy to Fairbanks with strong values rooted in the community. A strong advocate for public education, Grier will work to increase clean renewable energy in Fairbanks as well as ensure Alaskans have a strong voice in decision making processes.

Stephany Jeffers
House District 12
(Eagle River)
Stephany is running as an undeclared candidate on the democratic primary. She will face an incumbent opponent in the general election. Jeffers will bring fresh energy, which includes advocating for renewable energy advancements, to this district she calls “home.”

Joe Hackenmueller
House District 14
(Eagle River)
Joe is running in an open seat this year in the State House. We are so excited to be supporting his candidacy as he is strong supporter of The Alaska Center and is passionate about a clean energy future for Alaska. As a 34-year resident of Eagle River, Joe understands the diverse needs of the community and is willing to be a voice of reason and common sense policies in Juneau. Joe will work to advocate for renewable energy as well as strong protections for salmon habitat.

Lyn Franks
House District 15
(East Anchorage)

Lyn Franks is an educator at UAA and is a supporter and advocate of The Alaska Center’s mission and vision. Franks is supportive of robust clean energy development and stronger protections for salmon habitat.

Ivy Spohnholz
House District 16
(East Anchorage)
Rep. Spohnholz has been fighting for progressive values since she joined the Alaska Legislature in 2015. Ivy is a third generation Alaskan with 20 years of nonprofit experience. She is committed to building a sustainable budget that is designed to reflect the values of our state – including the use of more sustainable energy resources.

Andy Josephson
House District 17
(Midtown Anchorage)
Rep. Josephson has been fighting for conservation values since before he was first elected in 2012. He has continued to be a tireless advocate for conservation in the State House by being a leader on issues like the Denali wolf buffer zone, climate change, the Pebble Mine, and as a supporter of the Stand for Salmon house bill.  


Harriet Drummond
House District 18
(Spenard Anchorage)

Rep. Drummond is a voice for progress in the State House. Always a strong advocate for public education and local government control, from her time serving on the Anchorage School Board and Assembly, Rep. Drummond also supports conservation minded issues like protecting bees from lethal pesticides.

Geran Tarr
House District 19 (Mountainview/Airport Heights)
Rep. Tarr has been a long standing supporter of conservation in Alaska. She is a co-sponsor of the Stand for Salmon legislation in the State House and is a tireless advocate for healthy and wild Alaska salmon. Rep. Tarr also works to ensure every Alaskan has a voice at the decision making table through numerous outreach events in her community.

Zack Fields
House District 20
(Downtown Anchorage)
Zack Fields is running in the Democratic primary against two challengers to fill Rep. Les Gara’s open seat. Zack has been a supporter, advocate, and volunteer for The Alaska Center for several years and is passionate about our mission and values. Zack will be a strong voice for conservation in Juneau!

Matt Claman
House District 21
(West Anchorage)

Rep. Claman is running for re-election for the second time this year. He is a solutions based lawmaker that strives to work with all members of the Legislature to get things done in Juneau. Rep. Claman passed five bills in this past Legislature, including legislation to increase public safety. Rep. Claman is an a conservationist and is committed to protecting Alaska’s salmon habitat.

Sue Levi
House District 24
(South Anchorage)

Sue Levi is running for office for the second time this year to unseat the republican incumbent in this South Anchorage house district. Sue would like to be a voice for conservation in Juneau, advocating for policies that would provide solutions to problems created by climate change.

Amber Lee
House District 28
(South Anchorage)
Amber will run against whoever emerges from the republican primary in this house district. Covering the upper hillside, this district is conservative, but Amber’s approach of hard working and commonsense policies makes her a strong challenger. Amber is committed to working toward clean energy solutions to climate change as well as being a strong advocate for public education.

Shawn Butler
House District 29
(Nikiski, Seward, Hope)
Shawn Butler is an exciting candidate who has a strong background as a military intelligence person and a PhD in computer sciences. She is running in the open seat left from longtime republican, Mike Chennault. This district is large and covers Nikiski, Hope, and Seward. Shawn would be an incredible addition to the Alaska State House.

Paul Seaton
House District 31

Rep. Seaton is running as an Independent this year against an array of challengers. We are excited to support Rep. Seaton as he continues to stand up for Alaskans on issues related to our fisheries, oil resources, and importantly, our budget crisis. Rep. Seaton has also been an advocate for The Alaska Center on other issues related to climate change and energy efficiency and we are excited to be working to elect him once again.

Sara Hannan
House District 33
(Downtown Juneau)

Sara is running in the downtown Juneau district in a four person democratic primary left open by retiring State Representative, Sam Kito. Sara will be a strong progressive voice in Juneau, on issues like protecting our wild Alaska salmon and clean energy solutions to climate change.

Andi Story
House District 34
(Juneau Valley)
Andi Story won her democratic primary and will now go on to face a republican challenger in the general election. Andi has a wealth of knowledge and a strong background in public education. She is committed to a clean energy future for our state and is proud of the positive steps Juneau has taken on this front. Andi wants Alaska to take the lead in pushing forward on renewable development and be a leader on this issue.

Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
House District 35
The Alaska Center has enjoyed a close working relations with Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins since he was first elected to the Legislature in 2012. We are excited to be supporting him once again as he continues to fight for a better Alaska through refreshing ideas that are rooted in conservation values. Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins is also a strong advocate for the many tribal voices in his district by passing legislation like a 2014 bill that makes 20 Alaska Native languages official languages of the State of Alaska.

Tiffany Zulkosky
House District 38
(YK Delta)
Rep. Zulkosky was appointed to the Legislature this year and The Alaska Center is excited to be supporting a strong community advocate and leader. Born and raised in Bethel, Alaska, Tiffany is of Yup’ik and Polish descent and has also represented Bethel on the local city council. She is an advocate for protecting our salmon fisheries as well as ensuring all Alaskans have a voice at the decision making table.

Oliver Scheiss
Senate District G
(Eagle River)
Oliver is running in the open seat left from retiring incumbent Senator Anna MacKinnon. He has a strong background as a Marine and currently works for the NANA Corporation. Oliver will be an advocate for renewable resources and wants to ensure Alaska has a vibrant economic future, which includes supporting industries like fishing and tourism.

Elvi Gray-Jackson
Senate District I
(Midtown Anchorage)
Elvi has a been a long-time supporter and friend of The Alaska Center and Alaska Youth for Environmental Action through her time on the Anchorage Assembly. We are excited to be supporting her in her candidacy for the open state senate seat left by retiring State Senator Berta Gardner. While we will miss Berta’s voice in the Senate, we are excited to have another strong progressive who will fight tirelessly for our values!

Sam Cason
Senate District K
(West Anchorage)
Sam is running against the republican incumbent in this district as an independent. Sam has also been a long-time supporter of The Alaska Center and two of his sons are graduates of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action. Sam will bring a pragmatic voice to Juneau and will work hard to uphold the values of The Alaska Center.

Jesse Kiehl
Senate District Q
Jesse Kiehl will bring fresh energy as Juneau’s state senator. Jesse has an incredibly strong background in public service as a sitting local assemblyman and has a wealth of knowledge about the legislative process as he has worked as retiring Senator Dennis Egan’s Chief of Staff for nearly a decade. Jesse is committed to protecting Alaska’s fisheries and bringing renewable energy policies that have been enacted at the local level in Juneau to the Senate.

Support our Election Work

Paid for and approved by The Alaska Center, 921 W 6th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, Alaska 99501. Susan Klein, Chair. The top contributors to The Alaska Center (Anchorage, AK) are Tide Advocacy Fund (San Francisco, CA), League of Conservation Voters (Washington, DC), and Sixteen Thirty Fund (Washington, DC). This notice to voters is required by Alaska law: We certify that this literature is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.