Chessboard: Rep. McKay files against Sen. Claman, and Mia Costello jumps into House District 15 race


On Thursday, Anchorage Republican Rep. Tom McKay formally switched up his campaign plans. Instead of running for reelection for House District 15, he decided to challenge Democrat Sen. Matt Claman, who represents Senate Seat H. Already running against Claman is former Rep. Liz Vazquez, a Republican.

At about the same time, former State Sen. Mia Costello filed for McKay’s seat in House District 15. That south Anchorage district has two Democrats running — Dustin Darden and Denny Wells. Costello is a Republican who started out as a member of the school board, was elected to the House, then the Senate, and was bumped from office by Claman in 2022.

Claman is having to run again this year due to redistricting.

McKay is a former chairman of the Alaska Republican Party and comes from the oil and gas sector, where he has worked as a petroleum engineer. He first ran and won in 2020.

He’s back for more: Former Rep. Chuck Kopp files against Rules Chair Rep. Craig Johnson


  1. Remember this: Claman was the architect of SB91, which “changed the Alaska criminal justice system”, and he was dumb enough to brag about even years later. The trouble is, he “represents” that part of Anchorage that is full of government parasites and they will re-elect him.

  2. Two Republicans are required to run in each race so that a lone Democrat will not face a solid Republican vote for any seat. Sara helped Nick split the Mary Peltola Democrat winner. The ‘new’ Republican State Party chair performed the same trick splitting an Anchorage Assembly race where neither Republican candidate won.
    Nancy is now drawing Republican attention from Nick to assist Mary again.
    State Legislature candidates are performing the same trick.
    Do no Republican candidates realize that more Republican voters in Alaska are a bigger force than those registered as Democrat. Perhaps I have missed something…l

  3. Tom McKay running for office is laughable. First, he needs to lose a lot of weight. And second, he needs to be willing to speak to constituents at legislative events. I attempted to ask him a question at the end of a scheduled meeting. This was impossible because he insisted on being the first person to leave the event. The only thing he said to me after I started to ask a relevant question was “I’m leaving” … and he did.

    He is completely unsuitable for elected representational office. Anybody would be better than him!

    • Tom ran for the House twice and won. Perhaps you missed it.

      Nice summary, though. Not a single word on his policies or voting record, but you go VFR direct to personal insults. Congratulations.

      Interesting reportage on the meeting. In today’s era of instant video, nobody seems to have one of the event. Why is that? Shoot, you don’t even have a date, time or subject. Methinks you are either a troll or part of the Reelect Claman campaign. Pass along my lack of regards to the campaign and yourself. Cheers –

      • I am not a troll. I simply reported accurately my experience with Tom McKay. Frankly, I cannot envision a less diplomatic way for him to absent himself from an official meeting. He traveled from Juneau to Anchorage during the session to participate a well-attended meeting at UAA on the topic of education in Alaska. He demonstrated minimal interest during the meeting and, as mentioned, was certainly the first person to leave even as I attempted to speak with him. If he could not be bothered by speaking with constituents, then he should not have showed up. Maybe this was nothing more for him than a photo op? Or an opportunity to “check the box” that he was there physically? From my perspective, Tom McKay showed no regard for me or anybody else. We deserve much better from state legislators.

        • What rot, GS, dripping with righteous indignation. Smells like a Claman campaign op.

          Did you attempt to contact his office before or after with your concerns? Or were you trying to make a show for the cameras? My experience with Tom is that he is one of the few legislators who is diligent about responding to all comers. You might give it a try. Who knows, it might even work. Cheers –

  4. Tom needs to stay in Anchorage next session to protect girls against transgender kids using the bathroom. I voted for Mia the first time she ran, she lost my support when she voted down Medicaid expansion. Both Claman and Wells support increasing the BSA. This election will be about funding education and complying with the State Constitution

    • Your point is apt. West Anchorage is full of severe retards who dogmatically and faithfully “believe” in public ed. Thus, McKay is playing Russian Roulette with his political career. Once his residence was gerimandered into west anchorage, his future was set. It will take a miracle to get him elected west of Campbell Lake, I’m sad to admit.

      Ps: I homeschool my kids. Why? Because of how COLOSSALLY bad public schools are. I support Tom McKay!

  5. I don’t think I would call Dustin Darden a democrat.

    His listed political affiliation is to the Alaska Independence Party. At least it was when he ran for Lisa Murkowski’s Senate seat in 2022.

    Unless all those who are not republicans are now democrats. lol

    • Chuckles, I am looking at his voter registration at Division of Elections at this moment. He is a registered Democrat. Thanks – sd

  6. Gotcha.

    Thanks for the response Suzanne, I was just looking at past ballots on ballotopedia and other than being listed as nonpartisan for all muni elections(like everyone else), his most recent affiliation there was for 2022 as an AK Independence Party candidate

  7. Mia was excellent when she was in the Senate. I used to live in her district, she was great on the issues and always responded promptly to my emails. I look forward to seeing her serve in the Legislature again.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.