House District 30 (Kenai-Soldotna)
A four-way fracas to replace retiring Rep. Kurt Olson featuring Kenai City Manager Rick Koch, Soldotna City Councilman Keith Baxter, Kenai Borough Assemblyman Gary Knopp, and perennial candidate for everything Kelly Wolf.
Just last October in the race for the Kenai Borough Assembly seat that runs across much of this house district, taking in the areas in-between the city limits of Kenai and Soldotna, Knopp received 30% of the vote and Wolf garnered 20%. Baxter is an elected councilman for the City of Soldotna. Koch is the well-known City Manager for the district’s biggest population center, the City Of Kenai, and he raised the most money of any of the candidates.
Koch appears to have a lot of Republican establishment support from former Sen. Tom Waggoner to outgoing incumbent Rep. Kurt Olson. Knopp, on the other hand, raised almost as much money as Koch and has top tier campaign management from John-Henry Heckendorn and crew over at Ship Creek Group.
This all adds up to any one of these candidates being good for at least 10 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election, but none of them being the dominant frontrunner. With so many candidates able to garner substantial votes, this race is the definition of a toss up.
From what we hear from politicos on the Kenai, insiders are betting on Koch winning, Knopp finishing second, Baxter third, and Wolf coming in last. But that isn’t a projection, just anecdotal information.
Republican Primary Rating: Toss-up