Robert Ruffner of Soldotna has retrieved his hat from a very crowded ring, full of contestants vying for the Republican mantle in the State House Seat 31 primary against the long-time incumbent.
Ruffner said he recognized a responsibility to donors and supporters when he realized the time commitment wasn’t viable.
“You know, I’ve kinda become accustom to the rhythm of life here on the peninsula and I want to do my gardening, there’s time for the horses, there’s time to go fishing, there’s a lot of things I like to do, and I like to do them with the family in particular," he said. "It became pretty clear to me just being in a campaign for about a month and trying to do something you know, nearly every day, just how much that was going to take away over the course of the summer. Kinda took all that stuff into consideration and decided that I need to put this off for a few years, at least until the kids get out of school and then I’ll see how I feel about it then.”
Ruffner said his two kids would be heading into ninth- and sixth-grades respectively, and legislative sessions often stretch longer than their mandated 90-days during the school year.
As for those left in the closed Republican primary, John Cox, Henry Kroll, and Sarah Vance, Ruffner said he’s not prepared to make an endorsement.
“No, I’ll say that I will say out of (it). I will pay attention closely and see what people have to say. A couple candidates who are new to the political scene, at least to my observation, I haven’t really heard what their positions are or where they’re coming from. So I’ll be following that," he said. "Same thing with the governor’s race. I just want to watch what’s happening. And people have asked me if I would endorse or support, various candidates, but I think I’m just going to keep my powder dry, so to speak.”
House Seat 31 has attracted a lot of attention because its current occupant, Representative Paul Seaton of Homer is one of three Republicans to caucus with the Democrats to form a coalition majority. As Thursday of morning, Seaton has not filed for reelection, according to online state records.