The race for the East Anchorage Assembly seat up for election this spring is beginning to take shape. Last week former Democrat congressional candidate Forrest Dunbar announced he was running and had the support of outgoing Assemblyman Paul Honeman.
Yesterday, former Republican state house candidate Don Hadley filed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Alaska Public Offices Commission(APOC) to run for the same seat. No candidate can file with the Municipality of Anchorage to officially run until late January, but filing of the LOI with APOC allows Hadley to begin soliciting and raising campaign money.
Hadley has previously run for state house twice, both times against Representative Max Gruenberg. In both races Hadley lost by almost identical 53-45% margins. That legislative district essentially runs down either side of Boniface Pkwy and accounts for about a third of the Anchorage Assembly district Hadley and Dunbar will be running in this time.
According to a bio on his old state house campaign website, Hadley had this to say about himself:
“I taught high school for twenty-seven years and served in the Alaska Air National Guard for twenty-two years. After finishing high school, my kids went on to graduate from college. Two have master’s degrees.
My experience working with others in various leadership positions has provided me with the ability and knowledge to get things done. I am a good listener, as well as a tireless worker. I am a volunteer and I want to work for you.”
Hadley’s filing is an interesting turn of events that may signal Republicans weren’t happy with the level of campaign activity from the Republican who had already filed to run for the seat. As late as Monday, the Alaska Republican Party complained that another Republican Terre Gales who had filed an LOI to run for the seat on September 15th, wasn’t getting as much coverage by media sources as other assembly candidates.
A campaign announcement and fundraising plea for Hadley was emailed to area conservatives earlier today. The flier urgently requests financial support from conservative voters, but lists no campaign website, facebook page, campaign kick-off event, or upcoming fundraisers. It appears to be a hastily prepared document looking get get a few dollars in the door before the end of the year campaign donation cycle.
In a phone interview earlier today Hadley described a campaign apparatus still very much in the formative stages. He said he is in Arlington, VA until after the first of the year and is having others begin the process of setting up his campaign and represent him at fundraisers until he returns.
Asked whether he thought this would be a three-way race with himself, Gales, and Dunbar, Hadley said he hadn’t talked to and doesn’t know Gales. He went on to say “As far as I am concerned, the race is between Forrest and myself.”
The situation has the look of a party, unhappy with their current option scrambling for a new candidate before the end of the year.
Assuming Gales doesn’t significantly step-up his campaign activity, the Eastside race would present voters a stark choice between the youthful and solidly progressive Dunbar and the older and solidly conservative Hadley.