VinZant: Not much difference between parties

Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2002

Soldotna's Ray VinZant Sr. will be the Republican Moderate candidate on this year's state ballot for governor.

VinZant originally ran as a Republican against Sen. Jerry Ward of Nikiski in the primary election. However, when the original Republican Moderate candidate for governor, Dawn Mendias, said she didn't want to run, the party nominated VinZant.

It is not yet clear if a party can legally nominate a candidate from outside its party, according to Virginia Breeze, spokesperson for the Division of Elections. However, the state will go ahead and place VinZant's name on the ballot.

"He will go on as a Republican Moderate candidate for governor," Breeze said Friday.

VinZant said he feels he's flexible enough to run as a Republican Moderate.

"They're not a whole lot different from the Republican party," VinZant said Thursday.

He said the nomination for governor wasn't something he was really expecting.

"It was a last-minute decision on Wednesday," he said. "They needed a candidate, and I was available."

VinZant said despite the last-minute nature of his campaign, he's planning to make a strong run for the state's top office.

"You never know what's going to happen. With those other two people pulling each other's hair out, I might win," he said.

Along with his nomination was a signed pledge stating he'll follow Republican Moderate party guidelines or face dismissal.

VinZant said he'll try and participate in as many candidate forums as possible between now and the Nov. 5 election, and said his campaign will be honest and direct.

"I'm more straightforward than the other candidates," he said. "If anybody asks me a question, I'll give them an answer."

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