Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories looking at area candidates for the Alaska Legislature.
Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, who was first elected in 2002, said many pieces of legislation take years to get through, so he’s still got some bills he’s looking to push through the legislature.
“Lots of things take a long time to get on the right path,” he said.
Seaton is running unopposed this election season for his House District, which is now located entirely on the road system and renumbered as District 31.
Originally, Seaton said he sought election because he felt the state was moving in the wrong direction on certain issues including corporate ownership of fishing permits.
“I’ve been in office long enough now to have gotten that reversed,” he said. “So in state waters only people, real people, can own and operate their fishing permit instead of corporations owning it and having somebody sharecrop.”
Seaton worked on the issue for about 11 years; being a representative teaches patience, he said.
Seaton, 68, has lived in Alaska since 1975, and is a commercial fisherman.
Being a fisherman has helped him to understand the different communities and economics of various rural Alaska areas, which is useful as a representative, but since being elected, he has downsized his business.
Seaton currently serves as the chair of the Special Committee on Fisheries and is a member of both the Standing Committee on Education and the Health & Social Services Committee as well as multiple finance subcommittees.
“When you look at the diversity of those committees … it takes a lot to stay on top of what’s happening,” he said.
While some of the bills Seaton has sponsored don’t get passed or are slow to move through the legislature, Seaton said he feels like he’s been successful in representing the Kenai Peninsula.
“I enjoy looking at (issues) and trying to solve problems and figure out how we can address problems in a way that will be an actual solution and not a Band-Aid,” he said.
Two issues Seaton hopes to continue to work on are marine and aquatic invasive species and benefit corporations.
He said one of the most challenging roles of being a representative is maintaining contact with his constituents. One way he tries to keep his district updated on legislative goings-on is via a weekly email newsletter.
Seaton’s wife, Tina, travels with him to Juneau during sessions. He has two children, Tawny and Rand.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.