Three Southwest Alaska names have been chosen by District 38 Democrats, and two of the names belong to former mayors of Bethel. The third runs a job training program. Anyone of them could be the next state representative. Or the governor could go his own way and pick someone else.
District 38 lost representation when Rep. Zach Fansler had to resign from office, effective Feb. 12. He had been accused of various abuses of a woman in a hotel room in Juneau a month earlier — slapping and such — although charges have never been filed. Fansler had only held the job for a year, after ousting longtime Democrat Bob Herron.
Led by Fansler’s legislative aide Ben Anderson-Agimuk, who suddenly. became District 38 chair for the Alaska Democratic Party, Democrats took applications from interested persons over last week and chose from among them:
Yvonne Jackson, runs job training programs at the Association of Village Council Presidents, a nonprofit tribal organization in Bethel. Jackson, 28, is registered as a Democrat but in voter roles lists her address in Anchorage, according to at least one recent voter database, and she has spent several years working and studying in Anchorage. Born in Bethel and raised in Kasigluk, she completed her associate’s degree in Anchorage in 2105.
Raymond “Thor” Williams, former Bethel mayor who has worked in substance abuse for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. Williams, 50, is a registered Democrat in Bethel. Originally from the East Coast, he has been a resident of Bethel for over 20 years and serves on the Bethel City Council; he was mayor from 2005-2006. He also serves on the Lower Kuskokwin School District Board.
Tiffany Zulkosky, a former Bethel mayor. A database search of Zulkosky, 34, shows that she is not currently a registered Democrat, but is a registered “other. Born and raised in Bethel, she is of Yup’ik and Polish descent and is vice president of communications for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Northwest University and master’s in public administration from the University of Alaska Southeast.
Gov. Bill Walker has until March 12 to pick from among the three names he has received, or a person of his own choosing, such as he did for District 40s replacement of Dean Westlake with John Lincoln, and as he has tried to do in Senate Seat E, with less success.
House District 38 covers a rural part of Southwest Alaska that has Bethel as its hub. One person has filed for the District 38 House seat that will be on the ballot this year: Darren Deacon, a Native from the village of Kalskag, has filed to run for the Fansler’s old seat as a Republican.