The assorted races for seats on the Anchorage Assembly have thus far resembled our early solar system. There were plenty of potential and even declared campaigns starting to form and then with a flash like a political supernova, ceased to be.
And the formation of different candidates and their campaigns isn’t over yet. The deadline for candidates to declare their run may have been Friday, but the deadline to drop out isn’t until today at 5 PM.
The race in South Anchorage has been one of the most turbulent in recent memory. Only a month ago the race looked like a three-way affair between John Weddleton, David Jensen, and Joe Riggs. Since then Jensen and RIggs have both dropped out. That led to three new candidates, all registered Republicans entering the race: Joy Bunde, Mark Schimscheimer, and Treg Taylor. Then Bunde flashed out, like a shooting star, saying she wanted to make room for Taylor.
If you need a moment to gather your thoughts on all that, just imagine how southside voters must feel.
One campaign appears to be coalescing into the “establishment” Republican choice. Treg Taylor has added an impressive list of elected Republican and conservative names to his list of endorsements on his website including former Mayors Dan Sullivan and Tom Fink, current and former Assembly members Jennifer Johnston, Chris Birch, and Bill Starr, Commissioner of Administration Sheldon Fisher, and conservative activist Bob Griffin.
Taylor has also received the endorsement of the previous establishment candidate in the race Joe Riggs, who had to drop out a couple weeks ago. In an interview Riggs said he chose to endorse Taylor because “he’s the same kind of conservative I am. Both on budget issues and social issues, we see things the same way.”
While the majority of John Weddleton’s support has come from the progressive crowd, he is quick to point out that he too has support among Republicans, citing endorsements from Andrew Halcro and Hillside Republican Rep. Mike Hawker and also a donation from Dimond Center owner Hugh Ashlock.
It will be interesting to see what space Mark Schimscheimer can carve out for himself. He is pursuing the support of business leaders and groups. If he receives it, this could turn into a legitimate three-way.