Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly challenges Sen. Scott Kawasaki


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.


  1. Ginny Kawasaki, Scott”s elderly mother, is furious. Now, Scott Kawasaki (age 50) will be moving back in with her.

  2. Jim Matherly always seemed like a guy who actually cares about the health and well-being of his community. And he has experience in getting things done. In other words, the exact opposite of Scott Kawasaki.

    Also, he’s well-known in Fairbanks and that should help with both recognition and fundraising. So, conservative, realistic, high name ID… I doubt Republicans could come up with a better all-around candidate.

    • Thank you Mr Blackmore! I appreciate your kind words. I love helping people and hope to do it in Juneau as I’ve done in Fairbanks. Best to you! .

  3. I hope he is more Sober than current elect. Hahaha. We need more ‘Josh Revaks’ who Choose not to drink alcohol and choose being the permanent designated drivers. Alcohol kills your brain cells, it’s the slow way to developing a mental health issue. Now! It all makes sense why Kawasaki stuck his tongue out at then-house speaker Chenualt from Nikiski, Kawasaki was demonstrating his alcohol induced mental illness.

  4. Scott Kawasaki is like having a 12-year old in the Legislature. He’s good at mailing out birthday cards to seniors, though. My elderly mom has a collection dating back 10-years. Her favorite parakeet has built a small mountain on them.

  5. Hey! Don’t knock on the family unit. I love family! I admire when you meet a family who have grandma or grandpa, mom and/or dad, and the children all living under one roof! If a man is single without a wife, then he NEEDS to be taking care of mom. That single man NEEDS to be taking care of someone. The man was made to take care of someone else beside himself! Hahaha

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