Race for mayor grows: Former assembly, school board member to vie for seat

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another candidate has put in a bid for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor.

Debi Brown, a Cohoe resident, small business owner and former Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member, filed paperwork to run for office last week. She is currently a member of the Cohoe-Kasilof Community Council.

"My whole life I've spent on the Kenai Peninsula and I have been a very action oriented person. I see a need and I respond to it," she said. "If I really believe I can do something to help, I take action."

And Brown believes she can do something for the borough.

With a strong focus on resource development and affordable energy, she already has a plan for what she would do if elected to office in October.

"I would take a stronger role in leading to encourage the development of Kenai Peninsula natural resources," she said. "Resource development is necessary to get better, high paying jobs for Kenai Peninsula families."

Resource development could also lead to more affordable energy for Alaskans, she said.

"In order to get affordable energy for Kenai Peninsula families, which is essential for everyone, I will be advocating for a large volume in-state gasline, which will involve the Kenai Peninsula Borough," she said. "We have to be a part of the state of Alaska, work together with the state of Alaska, to get a large volume in-state gasline."

She said she also supports the borough maintaining local control of Central Peninsula Hospital, while keeping government size to a minimum.

"We must stimulate economic growth with no growth in government," she said.

Brown, who has lived in Alaska for 37 years, got her start in politics with a parent-teacher organization at Tustumena Elementary School.

She then served on the borough planning commission from 1990 to 1995, and on the assembly from 1995 to 1998. Brown also served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education for two terms from 2003 to 2008.

"I believe I am well prepared and will do a really good job," she said. "No other candidate really has the breadth and depth of background and resume in my opinion."

Brown said she is planning a kickoff event for her mayoral campaign to be held early next month, with special guest speakers Bill Walker, a 2010 candidate for Alaska governor, and his wife Donna.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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