ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State Senate Majority Leader Loren Leman will run for the Republican nomination as lieutenant governor, the Anchorage lawmaker said Thursday.
Leman said his priorities are fiscal discipline, school accountability and parental choice, combating drug and alcohol abuse and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
Leman has served 13 years in the Alaska Legislature and was first elected to the Senate in 1992.
In making the announcement he cited numerous accomplishments by the GOP-controlled Legislature, such as reducing general fund spending, welfare and education reform and state agency consolidations.
Leman chided Gov. Tony Knowles and Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, both Democrats, for opposing the Republican reforms.
''Many of these positive changes were enacted without the support of the Knowles-Ulmer administration, and occasionally we had to overcome their active opposition,'' Leman said in a statement.
Under state term limits laws, Knowles cannot seek a third term as governor. Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer is running for governor on the Democrat ticket.
U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski also has announced his intention to run as the Republican nominee for governor. Leman said the Legislature ''can accomplish so much more for Alaska when we have a governor and lieutenant governor who will work constructively with the legislature.''
Leman is expected to face former state House Speaker Gail Phillips, of Homer, and state Sen. Robin Taylor, R-Wrangell, in the Aug. 27 primary.
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