Full field of candidates file for Legislature seats

May 28, 2020


Campaigning during a pandemic is going to look different this year. Gone are the days of big, in-person town halls and door-to-door canvassing. But that hasn’t stopped a full field of Kenai Peninsula candidates from setting their sights on the Legislature this fall.

House of Representatives District 29 covers Nikiski, part of Cooper Landing, Hope and Seward. First-term Rep. Ben Carpenter, a Nikiski Republican, is running for reelection. He’s got at least one challenger in the fall — Paul Dale, of Nikiski, who filed as a nonpartisan.

In central District 30, incumbent Rep. Gary Knopp, of Kenai, has two challengers — Kelly Wolf of K-Beach and Ron Gillham of Ridgeway. All three are running as Republicans in the primary, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

In south peninsula’s District 31, incumbent Rep. Sarah Vance, of Homer, is running to hang onto her seat against Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly President Kelly Cooper, of Homer.

Cooper kicked off her campaign with a rally off the Homer Spit on Tuesday, speaking from the stern of the vessel Sea Nymph as a camera drone shot footage overhead.

“I believe that we, as Alaskans, need to protect our renewable resources and hold nonrenewable development to high standards,” Cooper said. “I believe in putting people before party. I reject partisan politics. When you refuse to listen to people who disagree with you, you miss out on so much wisdom and experience.”

Cooper is running as an independent, skipping the primary election. Candidate filings are due June 1.

Editor’s note: Thanks to Bjorn Olsen, in Homer for audio of Cooper’s rally.