Former trooper files for Ward's seat

Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2000

While there was a rash of people signing up just before the filing deadline for the Senate seat held by Jerry Ward, one candidate threw his hat into the ring in December.

Twenty-six year Alaska State Trooper veteran Brad Brown of Anchorage is the lone opposition to Ward in the August primary election.

"I'm a pretty straightforward type of person. I've never been known to mince words, and I tell people like it is," Brown said. "I'm a real firm believer that if you want progress, you have to get involved."

As for running against an incumbent in his own party, Brown said he has nothing against Ward and that he is running for the position.

"I have no disagreement with him," Brown said. "I have no opinion on him one way or another. I'll leave that up to other people."

Brown said he's spoken with Ward as recently as last week and hopes to have lunch with him soon.

"This is going to be a gentleman's campaign," Brown said. "There is going to be absolutely, on my part, no mud-slinging."

Brown said he has almost always voted Republican in the past, though was registered as a nonpartisan until he decided to run.

"I'm not a hard-liner, but I am a Republican and am conservative in nature," he said. "But along those same lines, if there is an issue, I will listen to it. There are always two sides to an issue."

Having been a trooper for a quarter-century in Alaska, Brown said he has special insight into government.

"People ask me why I want to run. Well, I've got the inside track on how the state runs," he said. "There are a lot of antiquated laws on the books that conflict with each other, and we need to spend some time cleaning those up."

He said he feels public safety is a top priority, as are transportation issues.

"We need to keep good roads," he said. "But we need to continue to have available funding sources outside the realm of the state -- in other words, federal funding."

Brown said it's important to make sure there is enough funding available to maintain roads and bicycle paths and anything else in the state once they are built.

On education, Brown thinks more needs to be done to retain Alaska's brightest students in-state.

"We need a way that students can work and pay back some of their student loans in trade," Brown said. "For instance, if a person majors in fisheries, they can put some time in with the fisheries and that time will count toward paying back their student loan.

"I'm looking to keep educated people in the state."

Brown favors bringing the proposed natural gas pipeline to Nikiski rather than to Valdez to revitalize the peninsula economy.

"Our resources are dwindling. The fishing, the timber, the oil are all slowly on a reduced schedule, so I want to have something that will attract people and keep the economy going," he said. "I'm looking at malls setting vacant there, so what can we do to bring some type of industrial development? Maybe some sort of tax break to attract business. Why can't we have a MicroSoft up here?"

Brown said he hopes to make it to the peninsula soon to go door-to-door and meet the voters, but even though he is retired from the troopers, he is still busy driving a belly-dump truck, teaching driver education at the Teamster training center and contracting with the troopers as a crash reconstructionist in fatal vehicle accidents.

Also running for District E are three Democrats, Kurt Melvin of Nikiski, Michael Allegrucci and Mike Szymanski, both of Anchorage. William Bartee of Anchorage is running as a Green Party candidate.

Chuck May II of Anchorage had signed up to run under the Republican Moderate banner for seat E, but withdrew to run for State House District 10 against incumbent Republican Joe Green.

The primary election is Aug. 22.

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