Seward contender gets unusual endorsement

Posted: Sunday, September 24, 2000

A 37-page voter information pamphlet prepared by the Kenai Peninsula Borough clerk's office and distributed throughout the borough helps voters prepare for the Oct. 3 municipal election. But there's one thing it can't do -- take into consideration last minute surprises.

Take, for instance, assembly District 6 candidate Matt Hall's announcement on Thursday that encouraged voters to cast their votes for another candidate. When a previously planned hunting trip kept the Seward candidate from participating in a candidate forum hosted by the Seward Chamber of Commerce, he supplied the chamber with a prepared statement.

"Why should you vote for me?" Hall asked in the statement. "Well ... honestly ... you shouldn't. This race is not a popularity contest. This race is about who is the best candidate with the correct skills to represent District 6 with pride and responsibility. Ron Long is such a candidate."

He said he originally filed as a candidate because he wanted to ensure the area was represented by someone who was knowledgeable, organized, intelligent and cares about Seward and the rest of District 6."

Hall and Long both serve on the chamber's board of directors. Through that association, as well as their friendship, Hall said he has had an opportunity "to see how (Long) operates, how he thinks, how methodical he is in decision-making, and know that he cares about Seward enough to make the sacrifice to run for borough assembly.

"And when you vote on October 3rd, vote for Ron Long -- the best candidate," Hall urged voters.

Long said Hall's decision wasn't a complete surprise.

"I had an inkling he was going to do this," Long said. "I saw him at a dinner a couple of nights before and he kind of hinted that he might."

Endorsement like that is hard to get, Long said.

"I appreciate his kind words and his support. It was very flattering," Long said. "I hope I don't let him down."

Ballots have already been printed, however, so Hall is still officially in the race.

"He hasn't notified the (borough) clerk's office of his intent, and he is, of course, on the ballot," said Sherry Biggs, deputy borough clerk.

And what if he wins?

"If you have already voted an absentee ballot -- thank you for your support. Your vote was not wasted," Hall said. "And if I win this election, I promise to perform my duties as your representative to the best of my abilities."

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