Former Soldotna City Mayor, now Rep. Ken Lancaster, announced this spring that he would not seek re-election for a second term to the legislature. Lancaster expressed disillusionment with partisan politics as his primary reason to not seek a second term.
When State Senator John Torgerson also announced that he would retire from the senate, speculation was that ultimately Torgerson or Lancaster might have their eyes set on the Borough Mayor's office. As summer progressed those speculations subsided and Assembly President Tim Navarre announced that he would run for the office of Borough Mayor, and Mayor Dale Bagley made his intentions known to seek a second 3-year term.
Then just prior to the Soldotna Progress Days, Rep. Lancaster announced from his hometown of Cooper Landing that indeed he would be seeking the office of Borough Mayor, "It wasn't the reason I left the legislature at all. I don't think we accomplish what's best for Alaska with partisan politics in my opinion. I think we need to move past that and do what's right for Alaska and what the taxpayers want," said Lancaster.
All municipal offices are non-partisan in Alaska and Lancaster says he believes the party politics comes out of the issues at the local level. Saying that he intends to focus his campaign on economic diversification, education, and improving the quality of life on the Kenai Peninsula, Lancaster added, "Basically our slogan is going to be no challenge to big or too small."
What is now a three-way race between Bagley, Navarre and Lancaster still may draw more candidates for the top Borough position. Filings for the October 1st municipal elections open August 1st and close at 4:30pm August 15th.
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