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Designer candidate, the Fairbanks edition


Grier Hopkins in Paul Bunyan, the musical?

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The photo is from an election fundraiser coming up Sept. 18 in Anchorage, and Hopkins’ invitation shows what manly men do in the fall in Fairbanks — chop wood in their $249 Arcteryx down vest, with muscle-fitting, purple-on-teal plaid shirt, while gazing off into the bright future of a legislative aide-turned-representative.

For the prop department, we’re not sure that his ax has gotten any real use in awhile, but the costume department is on point for Juneau, where Xtratuf boots are de rigueur.

Hopkins, the son of former Fairbanks mayor Luke Hopkins, is running for the District 4 seat being vacated by Rep. David Guttenberg, where he says he will continue carrying on Guttenberg’s legacy.

He has the support of the Democrat A-listers, including Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, and the governor’s Chief of Staff Scott Kendall, (his inlaw), as his Anchorage invitation shows:

If nothing else, Hopkins is fashion-forward for Fairbanks woodcutters, showing that you can chop wood, carry water, pass legislation, and look like you just stepped out of an REI photo shoot.

Meanwhile, his opponent Jim Sackett is a Cabela’s sort of guy — more camo and less purply, if you will, as seen in the center of this 2013 hunting photo:

File photo of a 2013 moose hunt, with Jim Sackett in the middle. Sackett returned late last night from his successful 2018 hunt, he reported this morning. 

Then there’s petition candidate Tim Lamkin, who gets the prize for “he-whom-the-camera-loves-the-best” of the candidates for House District 4. Lamkin has been known to sport a man bun on occasion, while at other times seen in nearly Elizabethan-era attire, ala Jane Austin’s “Mr. Darcy,” but with beach hair.


Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. That invitation is a regular who’s who of people I’d have to be paid to be in the same room with. Time in Juneau tends to blur the fashion lines between outdoorsy and metrosexual. In the Sackett pic, the woman’s jacket is definitely Cabela’s, Wooltimate in Outfitter camo pattern. The guys are wearing copyright camo patterns that could have come from any outdoor clothing seller, but Cabela’s sold them too.

  2. LOL, but all seriousness aside. FNSB has a serious issue. What about the 3/4 million dollars that FNSB Public Works Director just requested on fueling stations? During the Finance Committee meeting, on audio, August 16, at 28 minutes- where you can hear Dan Sloan stating that the Big Dipper tank (DEC certified #1260) is 43 years old and single hulled-INCORRECT. DEC states, and the ust tank storage report online states it is 19 years, double hulled with interstitial monitoring, and is passing its inspections. Chena Rec tank (DEC certified #1248) is 34 years old and single hulled-INCORRECT, .it is also 19 years old, double hulled, with interstitial monitoring, and is also passing its inspections. Pioneer Park tank (DEC certified #2205) they just wanted to pull it. But is only 18 years. DEC has confirmed that 30 years is the standard for these types of tanks. Mayor Kassel stated on the phone to me that it was about containment, but denies any spills. Mr. Sloan personally told me on the phone that if FNSB wants to spend the money and pull these tanks, it’s their right. But it’s taxpayers money. Assembly members have stated they are asking for information. The issue is the presentation was an untruth, to the tune of almost a million dollars. While our FNSB struggles with an unsustainable budget, as stated by Mayor Kassel on the April 5th Finance Committee audio. The audio for August 16 Finance Committee meeting has “a glitch”, so it isn’t available, but I have copied it, and have it for you, because geez, I anticipated them pulling the audio.

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