August primary ballot remains full of holes

Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- With less than three months to go before the state's primary election, there are still plenty of open spots on the ballot.

The deadline for filing candidacy is 5 p.m. Thursday. But as of late last week, candidates in four of the 10 state Senate seats up for election are unopposed. In the House 20 of the 40 candidates are unopposed.

Incumbents Loren Lehman, R-Anchorage, and Gary Wilken, R-Fairbanks, were unopposed in Senate Districts G and O, respectively, as was John Cowdery in Senate District I. Cowdery, also a Republican, is attempting to make the jump from the House to the Senate to fill the vacancy created by retiring Republican Sen. Sean Parnell.

Cowdery may yet face a primary challenge, however. Rep. Con Bunde, the Republican incumbent in House District 18, has filed for re-election but said he is mulling withdrawing that in favor of running against Cowdery for Parnell's vacant seat.

''I'm weighing my options,'' Bunde said, as well as the pros and cons of changing chambers.

Bunde has seniority in the House, where he's served four terms, and would be a newcomer in the Senate. But he would only have to run for election every four years as a senator, compared to every other year as a House member.

Democrat Greg Brown, meanwhile, has signed up to run for Bunde's House District 18 seat.

There appears to be some interest in the Anchorage District 19 seat held by Republican Jerry Sanders. He is running for re-election, opposed in his party by Anchorage Assemblyman Kevin Meyer and on the Democratic side by Patty Higgins, whom Sanders defeated two years ago.

Former state Rep. Terry Martin, a Republican, is running for the Anchorage Senate seat held for nearly a quarter-century by retiring Sen. Tim Kelly, also a Republican. So far, Martin is unopposed in the primary, but three Democrats -- former Rep. Bettye Davis, Hugh Wade and William R. ''Will'' Theuer -- have filed for the seat.

In Senate District E, incumbent Republican Jerry Ward is challenged by Republican Bradley Brown. There were no Democrats signed up.

In Northwest Alaska, Richard K. ''Savik'' Glenn of Barrow is running against Andy Baker of Kotzebue for the seat held since 1988 by Democrat Al Adams. No Republicans had signed up for Adams' seat.

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