Conservative files for District 7 seat

Posted: Sunday, April 09, 2000

The man who lost to Rep. Gail Phillips, R-Homer, in two Republican primaries has filed again for the District 7 House seat.

Dale Wunderlich, a self-described conservative Republican from Happy Valley, won't have to face Phillips in this year's primary, as the veteran representative has decided to retire from the House after 10 years of service.

Despite his party affiliation, after losing to Phillips two years ago in the primary, Wunderlich threw his support to Democrat Joni Whitmore in the general election.

"I did endorse Joni Whitmore. I felt there would be a raid on the permanent fund by Gail Phillips," Wunderlich said. "But (Joni and I) made it clear that we were very different on the issues. To be truthful, I don't know if it upset my constituency."

Wunderlich said he felt "really good" about his campaign two years ago, and said he is gaining knowledge every year.

"One of the problems in the past is that I found it hard to ask for money. Basically, I used my money most of the time," he said. "This time I will accept money. My campaign committee has assured me that I will learn how to ask for money this year."

Like many candidates this year, Wunderlich is upset over last September's special election on using excess earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund for state government.

"What I've seen in talking to a lot of people is that government is completely out of control and not listening to the people," he said. "A lot of people felt betrayed after the September vote last year. It made them very angry."

Wunderlich is calling for an independent audit of all state agencies.

"It will be money well spent," he said. "But to be very truthful, the day will come when taxes will come -- sales tax or income tax -- but at that time it should be up to the people."

As for the only other person to file for the seat on the Republican side, current Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Drew Scalzi, Wunderlich says they are very different.

"He's running as a moderate in this race, and I'm running as a conservative. We kind of see him heading in the same direction as Gail," he said. "But we really wish Drew the very best. We'll be running a very clean campaign, and that's in the best interest of the people."



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