Familiar candidates begin 2020 Anchorage Assembly campaigns

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 15:07

Two familiar names have signaled their intent to run for a Chugiak-Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly in the April 7, 2020, municipal election.

As of Monday, Eagle River’s Jamie Allard and Chugiak’s Gretchen Wehmhoff were the only District 2 residents to file letters of intent with the Alaska Division of Elections. The filing period for municipal office is Jan. 1-Feb. 1, but the letters permit candidates to raise funds prior to officially filing for office.

Allard is a U.S. Army veteran who currently serves as a commissioner on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. She also served as Gov. Dunleavy’s Special Assistant/Legislative Liaison for the Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. In 2018, she ran for the Alaska State House in District 14 but was defeated in the Republican primary by eventual winner Kelly Merrick.

On her website, Allard lists “out-of-control” crime, a desire for smaller government and the need to restructure the municipal government as her top priorities.

Wehmhoff is an educator who in January was appointed to serve out the assembly term of Amy Demboski after Demboski resigned to take a job in the Dunleavy administration. In April, Crystal Kennedy was elected to a full three-year term on the assembly. Wehmhoff has previously run unsuccessfully for both the assembly and the Alaska State House.

On her website, Wehmhoff says her priorities will be to “bring equity and balance to the public safety, transportation and educational needs in the district.”

District 2 (Chugiak-Eagle River) has two seats on the 11-member assembly. Both Allard and Wehmhoff will be vying for the seat currently held by Fred Dyson, whose term expires in April. Dyson said Monday that he doesn’t plan to run for reelection, but said he does have some projects on the assembly he’d like to see through to fruition and didn’t entirely close the door on filing for another term.

However, Dyson said his 2017 run came about only after he was approached to run at the last minute by Demboski and former assemblyman Bill Starr.

“I certainly would never do again what I did the last time, which was file at the last minute,” he said.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274

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