Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux is no rookie candidate. She knows how elections work in Alaska, and she knows how to win her Anchorage House district, centered in Muldoon. She will win by hook or by crook, as the saying goes.
The campaign warhorse also knows her race for District 15 is going to be her biggest test yet this time around, what with a felony indictment hanging over her head, and with the entire Republican Party having turned against her due to her switch-hitting political alliances and allegations of corruption.
Also, there’s a fresh new candidate in Republican David Nelson. He has the Republicans’ endorsement and she doesn’t.
That’s why LeDoux, who has represented the East Anchorage district since 2012, has an advertisement on social media this week asking the 1,788 Democrats in the district to help her over the finish line, by switching parties in order to vote for her in the Republican Primary on Aug. 18. Only Republicans and nonaligned voters can vote the Republican ballot.
LeDoux is putting Democrat voters in a bind because they can’t vote both the Republican ballot and the Democrat-other ballot in the primary — and there will be other Democrats they might want to vote for, such as those running for U.S. House and Senate.
Also, there are three Democrats running for the District 15 House seat against LeDoux and one of them will be on the ballot in November: Lyn Franks, Patrick McCormick, or Rick Phillips. LeDoux is asking Democrats to not vote for their own party candidates, but to choose her instead.
David Nelson, the Republican who is running against her in the primary, said voters are not looking to LeDoux for voting advice anymore. Not after the episode involving dead voters and faked absentee ballots.
“Why would any honest person take voter registration advice from a politician who is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges of voter misconduct and unlawful interference with voting?” Nelson said.
“In 2018, Rep. LeDoux was caught trying to push people who didn’t live in District 15 to unlawfully register and vote here. This ad shows that this year, she’s trying to salvage her career by packing the Republican Primary with Democrats. I’m meeting voters from just about every political party, as well as undeclared and non –partisan voters, who are fed up with all of her schemes. I’m honored to have their support.”
The District 15 voter is largely Republican but the voting base isn’t known to turn up during primaries, as many are in the military, don’t know local candidates well, and only vote during a presidential general election.
As for Nelson, he is one of them, as an active member of the Alaska Army National Guard. If elected, he’ll be one of the youngest legislators to ever serve in the Alaska House.
THE BATTLEFIELD: DISTRICT 15 VOTER PROFILE
- 2,568 Republican
- 1,788 Democrat
- 5,985 Undeclared
- 1,469 Nonpartisan
- 276 Alaska Independence Party
- 230 Libertarian
- 51 Veterans Party
- 29 Green Party
- 11 Constitution Party