Candidates already file for November election

Posted: Monday, March 08, 2004

Alaska's Aug. 24 primary election is still months away, but candidates already are lining up to represent Kenai Peninsula Borough voters in Juneau.

The filing deadline for the party and nonparty candidates is 5 p.m. June 1.

Senate District Q incumbent Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, currently serving in his first term, can expect to be challenged by former Sen. Jerry Ward of Nikiski, the man he narrowly defeated in November 2002.

At that time, Wagoner ran as a Republican Moderate, thus avoiding a primary fight with the incumbent Ward. However, Wagoner switched to the Republican Party upon his election in November.

This time, Wagoner will have to face Ward in the primary.

Also signing up to run in the Republican primary for the Senate District Q seat is Scott D. Hamann, a Republican from Kenai.

Senate District Q includes House Districts 33 and 34 and stretches across much of the Kenai Peninsula excluding the Anchor Point-Homer area and Seward.

Senate District R incumbent Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, currently faces no opposition in the primary.

Stevens, who was member of the House, was appointed to his senate seat in early 2003 when former Sen. Alan Austerman resigned to take a job in Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration as fisheries policy adviser.

Senate District R includes Seward, the lower peninsula, Kodiak Island and territory on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Incumbent Rep. Kelly Wolf, R-Kenai, has stated his intent to run again for his District 33 House seat. He is named as a candidate with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, but is not yet registered on the Division of Elections list.

A Wolf aide said Friday that Wolf has filed papers with the division and isn't sure why his name is not yet listed.

Two other candidates also have filed their intent to run against Wolf, including John G. "Ozzie" Osborne Sr., a Republican, who would face Wolf in the Republican primary, and Harold V. Smalley, a Democrat, who would face the winner in November. Wolf easily defeated Smalley in the 2002 general election.

Rep. Charles "Mike" Chenault, R-Nikiski, is the only candidate listed to run in the primary for House District 34. Chenault won a second term in November 2002 when he defeated Republican Moderate James Price of Nikiski. House District 34 includes the rest of Senate District Q except Kenai and Soldotna.

Also facing no official opposition at the moment as far as the Alaska Division of Elections is concerned is Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, who won his seat in 2002 after defeating former Rep. Drew Scalzi in the Republican Party primary. Seaton ran unopposed in the general election.

Michael F. Heimbuch of Homer has filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission his intent to challenge Seaton as an independent.

However, Heimbuch, as yet, is not listed on the Division of Elections list of candidates.

A division spokesperson said that wouldn't happen until Heim-buch completes and turns in the division's application paperwork.

House District 35 includes the lower Kenai Peninsula and stretches east to include Seward.

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