12 hope to be next Muni Assembly person for Eagle River, Chugiak - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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12 hope to be next Muni Assembly person for Eagle River, Chugiak

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A dozen people applied to be named the interim Anchorage Assembly member from Eagle River and Chugiak. One will be chosen on Thursday during a special Assembly meeting.

Applicants are seeking to the seat vacated by Amy Demboski, who took a position with the Dunleavy Administration. Of the 12, two are Democrats, six are Republican, two are nonpartisan, and two are Undeclared. Demboski was a Republican and the area of Anchorage leans heavily conservative.

The applicants, along with their political party designation (the seat is nonpartisan):

  • Oliver Schiess, who ran for state Senate earlier this year. Democrat.
  • Gretchen Wehmhoff, vice-chair of the Birchwood Community Council. She has run for state House and Assembly in the past. Democrat.
  • Bill Starr, former member of the Assembly until 2017, serving for nine years before being term-limited. Republican.
  • Nick Miller of Chugiak, owner of a marijuana store and board member of the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board. Republican.
  • Elaine Hedden,  Eagle River business owner. Republican.
  • R. Scott Williams, retired U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot, and Air Force veteran. Republican.
  • Eugene Harnett, a former liaison for the Eagle River Community Council to the Federation of Community Councils, ran for state House this year. Works in public relations. Republican.
  • Elisa Snelling, Anchorage School Board member, second term. Accountant. Republican.
  • Will Earnhart, former member of the Anchorage Planning and Zoning Board, former chair of Board of Examiners and Appeals. Licensed attorney. Nonpartisan.
  • Matt Cruickshank, Chugiak/Eagle River, member of the Birchwood Community Council. Nonpartisan.
  • Sharon Gibbons, Eagle River. She has run for the Assembly in 2014 against Bill Starr. Undeclared.
  • Blake Merrifield, Vice President of the Chugiak Community Council. Has previously run for Assembly and state House. Undeclared.

The Anchorage Assembly will convene a public meeting on Thursday from 2-4 pm to interview the applicants, and will choose one of the applicants after the public meeting, from 4-6 pm. Meetings are held at the Loussac Library. The successful applicant will have the seat until the April municipal election.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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