As we discussed in our Friday in the Sun column, today is the filing deadline to run for local office in Anchorage. Filing day almost always has a surprise or two, and this year didn’t disappoint.
Former Assemblyman and State Senator Fred Dyson registered today with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for the Chugiak/Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly, as can be seen here:
According to the Municipal Clerk’s office, Dyson also stopped by there earlier today and filed the necessary paperwork with them to get on the ballot.
Dyson is a well-known social conservative with a long track record of public service in Alaska. His entry into the Chugiak/Eagle River assembly race creates a three-way contest between Dyson, fellow right-of-center candidate John Brassell, and the Democrat Gretchen Wehmhoff.
Even in the very conservative Chugiak/Eagle River area, that creates a path to victory for a Democrat.
Brassell said he was surprised to hear about Dyson’s entry into the race. “I’m a little disappointed. We’ve got to look at this from the position of keeping this seat conservative. That is something Fred needs to think about.”
Of course, Brassell could drop out to avoid that splitting of the conservative vote, but he made clear he has come too far to quit now, “I’ve already invested in it. I’ve already started my campaign. I had already gathered up some pretty good support: Loren Leman, Lora Reinbold, Nick Begich, Dan Kendall, and they still support me 100 percent.” He continued, “100 percent, I’m not dropping out.”
Reached for comment this afternoon, Dyson said discussions about his candidacy only began hours ago. “Several of the leading citizens of my area called me just before noon and said ‘oh, my goodness, we don’t have anybody in the race we really like and have confidence in. Would you consider it?’ So I think what was happening there is they were scraping the bottom of the barrel and found me.”
Asked if he is worried having two right-leaning candidates in the race would enable a Democrat to win he said, “Give me some slack here, I’m only about three and a half hours into this thing.” He continued, “I trust the people in the community that called on me today. They don’t see it as a problem.”