(Pictured above, Andrew Gray and his family pose as he files for House.)
Alaska State Sen. Tom Begich, a Democrat for the liberal heart of Anchorage, pulled a fast one today, deciding to not file for the downtown Senate Seat I for a third term. He evidently told no one but his legislative aide, Loki Tobin, a registered Democrat. Tobin filed for the seat before today’s deadline in a deftly executed political move. Heather Herndon, a political undeclared, is in that race, too, so it’s Tobin and Herndon.
In other races of interest around the state:
Anchorage Senate Seat H: In last-minute maneuvers, Rep. Matt Claman of Anchorage decided to not fie for his seat and filed against Sen. Mia Costello.
Anchorage Senate Seat G: Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, Democrat, has just one Republican to worry about — candidate Marcus Sanders.
Eagle River Senate Seat L: Clayton Trotter jumped into the Senate race to run against Rep. Kelly Merrick, Joe Wright, and Rep. Ken McCarty, all Republicans running for Senate Seat L. No Democrats filed for the seat.
Wasilla Senate Seat M: Sen. Mike Shower, a Republican, picked up a Republican competitor in Doug Massie, former director of the Wildlife Division for the Department of Public Safety.
Fairbanks Senate Seat P: Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly, a Republican, had filed for Senate, and Sen. Scott Kawasaki made it official today that he is staying in the race. Kawasaki is a Democrat.
Fairbanks/Interior Senate Seat R: Sen. Click Bishop of Fairbanks, a Republican, picked up a competitor in Elijah Verhagen, who has served as an aide in the Legislature in the past and who is more conservative than Bishop. Verhagen is from Nenana and ran for House two years ago. Bert Williams of the Alaskan Independence Party is also in the mix for Seat R.
Bethel Senate Seat S: Willy Keppel filed against Democrat Sen. Lyman Hoffman. Keppel is with the Veterans Party, one of 1,372 registered members of that party in the whole state.
House seats of interest:
Ketchikan District 1: Shevaun Meggitt, nonpartisan, has filed to run against Rep. Daniel Ortiz, also a nonpartisan. Republican Jeremy Bynum has filed, too. Ketchikan is an enigma, as it is a red district that cannot seem to elect conservatives.
Sitka-Hoonah District 2: Rebecca Himschoot has filed for House. A Sitka nonpartisan, she’ll run against Kenny Skaflestad, a Hoonah Republican. This is the seat being vacated by Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.
Juneau District 3: Rep. Andi Story, Democrat, will skate to reelection without an opponent in this north Juneau seat.
Juneau District 4: Rep. Sara Hannan, a Democrat, will be challenged by Darrell Harmon, undeclared.
Kodiak District 5: Rep. Louise Stutes filed for reelection. A Republican, she is challenged by Republican Benjamin Vincent, also of Kodiak.
Homer District 6: Republican Rep. Sarah Vance has two challengers, Ginger Bryant, nonpartisan, and Louis Flora, nonpartisan.
Soldotna District 6: Republican Rep. Ron Gillham has a challenger in Republican Justin Ruffridge, who is considered considerably more moderate than Gillham.
Nikiski District 8: Republican Rep. Ben Carpenter has no opponents. He can harvest peonies at his farm.
South Anchorage District 9: Republican Rep. Laddie Shaw picked up an opponent from the Democrats, one David Schaff.
South Anchorage District 10: Former Rep. Craig Johnson, a Republican, has filed, along with libertarian Mikel Insalaco, Democrat Sue Levi, and Democrat Caroline Storm. It’s a red district.
South Anchorage District 11: Walter Featherly, a Democrat, made a surprise appearance at the Division of Elections to file for an already crowded seat. Republican Julie Coulombe, nonpartisan Jennifer Sonne, and Republican Ross Beiling were already registered. The Democrats have moved away from tire-slashing fantasizer candidates this cycle and it looks like Sonne is going to be without their support after her bizarre social media outbursts.
South Anchorage District 12: Jay McDonald had filed for the seat weeks ago, and on Wednesday, Rep. Cal Schrage made his campaign for reelection official. He caucuses with the liberals, and McDonald is going after his record.
Anchorage House District 13: This midtown Anchorage seat now has Republican Kathy Henslee in the race. Henslee had filed for Senate but has switched her race to go for the House seat. Current incumbent Democrats Rep. Andy Josephson and Chris Tuck are both running for the seat, as is Alaskan Independence Party candidate Tim Huit.
West Anchorage House 14: This liberal district has Republican Nicholas Danger running, as well as nonpartisan liberal Alyse Galvin.
Anchorage Bayshore House 15: Rep. Tom McKay, a Republican, is running for reelection, joined in the fray by Republican David Eibeck and Democrat Danny Wells.
Anchorage West House 16: Jennifer Armstrong, a Democrat, along with Rick Beckes of the Alaska Constitution Party, Joel McKinney of the Republican Party and Liz Vazquez, a Republican are vying for the seat.
Anchorage central House 17: Rep. Harriet Drummond and Rep. Zack Fields, both Democrats, are thrown together in this district and neither backed down, so may the best man or woman win.
Anchorage House 18: Lyn Franks, a Democrat, Cliff Groh, a Democrat, and Rep. David Nelson are filed.
Anchorage Downtown House 19: Genevieve Mina, a Democrat, and Russell Wyatt, also a Democrat, are the only candidates.
Anchorage House 20: Paul Bauer and Jordan Harary, both Republicans, will go up against Scott Kohlhaas, Libertarian, and Andrew Gray, Democrat who has been highly theatrical at the Anchorage Assembly on many occasions.
Anchorage East House 21: With Rep. Liz Snyder withdrawing, Peter Knox, a nonpartisan, Donna Mears, a Democrat, Patrick Harrock, a nonpartisan, and Forrest Wolfe, a Republican will duke it out.
Anchorage East House 22: Lisa (Vaught) Simpson, a Republican, and Stanley Wright, also Republican, were joined by Ted Eischeid, a Democrat.
Eagle River House 23: Republican Jamie Allard was joined in the race by Republican Roger Branson.
Eagle River House 24: Republicans Sharon Jackson and Dan Saddler are joined by Daryl Nelson, a Democrat, in this very red district.
Palmer/Valley House 25: Republican Rep. DeLena Johnson and Republican Lawrence Wood will be on the ballot.
Valley House 26: Republican Rep. Cathy Tilton has a competitor with Jessica Reimann, Republican and Daniels Stokes, Libertarian, in this deeply conservative district.
Valley House 27: Republican Rep. David Eastman has two Republican challengers: Brendan Carpenter and Stuart Graham.
Valley House 28: Open seat in the Valley attracted three Republicans: Jesse Sumner, Jessica Wright, and Rachel Allen.
Mat-Su House 29: Republican George Rauscher has a competitor from Valdez: Elijah Haase, registered nonpartisan.
Willow House 30: Rep. Kevin McCabe, a Republican, has Republican company on the ballot: Joe Griffin, Doyle Holmes, and Democrat Joy Mindiola.
Fairbanks House 31: Republican Rep. Bart LeBon is being challenged by Republican Kelly Nash, Democrat Maxine Dibert.
Fairbanks/North Pole House 32: Republicans Tim Givens and Will Stapp are on the ballot.
North Pole House 33: Only Republican Rep. Mike Prax will be on the ballot. That’s it.
Fairbanks House 34: Republicans Nate Demars and Frank Tomaszewski will take on incumbent Democrat Rep. Grier Hopkins in a district that Hopkins will have a tough time winning.
Fairbanks House 35: Republicans Kevin McKinley and Ruben McNeill will be on the ballot with Alaska Constitution Party member Kieran Brown, nonpartisan Tim Parker, and Ashley Carrick, a former legislative aide and a Democrat.
Interior House 36: Rep. Mike Cronk, a Republican, picked up a challenger in Angela “Fitch” Fowler, a Democrat from Fairbanks. Cronk is from Tok. It’s a wildly Republican district.
Dillingham House 37: No one filed against Rep. Bryce Edgmon, who is a Democrat running under the label of nonpartisan.
Bethel House 38: Bob Herron, who once served as a state representative for the Bethel area, is not moving forward with his race for House. It was a family decision, he said. City Assistant Manager CJ McCormick, a Democrat, is running, having been recruited by Mayor Mark Springer, who is dropping out of the race. The seat is currently held by Democrat Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, who is not running for reelection. McCormick is a shoo-in, with no one running against him.
Nome House 39: Rep. Neal Foster, a Democrat, is challenged again by Tyler Ivanoff of Shishmaref, who a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
Barrow/Utqiagvik House 40: Nonpartisan Rep. Josiah Patkotak is the only candidate.