Davies, Ward among early campaign filers

Posted: Wednesday, June 04, 2003

JUNEAU Two former lawmakers who lost in the 2002 general election have filed papers with the state signaling their intention to again run for office.

Former state Sen. Jerry Ward, who narrowly lost in his bid for the Senate District Q seat amid allegations that he didn't live in the Kenai Peninsula district, said he will run again in 2004.

''We won't have that problem again,'' said Ward, who changed his residence to Nikiski following a new legislative map that pitted him against longtime friend and fellow Republican Sen. John Cowdery.

Also filing papers with the Alaska Public Offices Commission was former Rep. John Davies, a Democrat from Fairbanks who lost his bid for a state Senate seat to Republican Ralph Seekins.

Seekins won a four-year term and will not have to seek re-election until 2006. But the House District 7 seat currently held by Rep. Hugh ''Bud'' Fate, R-Fairbanks, is up for election in 2004.

Davies said he is considering either running in one of the two legislative races or a bid for Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor. The mayoral election is Oct. 7.

''What I tell people most is, I don't know. But I am trying to keep my options open,'' said Davies.

With the statewide election more than a year away, several incumbents have also filed letters with the Alaska Public Offices Commission announcing their intention to run for office.

Among the early filers are Cowdery and Reps. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks; Carl Morgan, R-Aniak; Max Gruenberg, D-Anchorage; Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage and Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla.

By filing a letter of intent with APOC, candidates can receive campaign contributions as early as 18 months before an election, said commission director Brooke Miles. It also allows candidates to spend campaign contributions before formally filing their candidacy with the state Division of Elections, Miles said.

A Division of Elections spokeswoman said Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Rep. Richard Foster, D-Nome, are the only two legislative candidates to file. Stevens is running in a special election after being appointed to a two-year term in the state Senate.

Ward said he does not plan to raise any campaign contributions until the end of the summer. ''I just figured I wanted to make my intentions known,'' he said.

Ward served eight years in the state Senate representing south Anchorage before a 2000 legislative map substantially changed his district. Ward bought a trailer in Nikiski and changed his residency to the Kenai Peninsula after the new legislative boundaries were approved.

He lost by 123 votes in a contentious Senate District Q race to Tom Wagoner, who ran as a Republican Moderate.

Davies, first elected to the House in 1992, lost the Senate District D seat to Seekins by 671 votes.

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