Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly has filed for State Senate for the newly designated district Seat P, challenging Sen. Scott Kawasaki. District P was District A under the previous political boundary plan.
Matherly, who is politically popular, has won four elections in a row in Fairbanks, two for City Council and two as mayor. His term as mayor ends next fall.
“It’s a logical progression for me. I think I’m ready for this. Redistricting didn’t hurt either,” he said, referring to the redrawn boundaries that were finalized last week.
A third generation Fairbanksian, his mother and grandfather were born and raised in the Golden Heart City.
Matherly first ran for Borough Assembly in 2000. Although he lost, he ran in 2010 for City Council, and became the first two-term mayor since Rep. Steve Thompson.
“Fairbanks has been really good to me and I’m grateful to serve them. Fairbanks has always wrapped its arms around me,” he said.
Matherly spent 25 years in radio, and 25 years in banking. He’s done over 3,000 weddings as a DJ, and still does fundraising events, including political events and wedding parties. He has six children, including three in high school in Fairbanks.
“With ranked choice voting I am not sure what to expect,” he said. “I just know I’m in it. I think I have a pretty good shot if I work hard at it.”
Also filing for office is Aaron Gibson, a member of the Fairbanks City Council. It appears he is filing for Rep. Steve Thompson’s seat. Thompson has told people he is not going to run.