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Mike Shower: Keeping Alaska on the right path


Alaska is one of the most amazing places on the planet. I’ve traveled all over the globe and no place has ever quite matched up.  The same can be said of Alaskans; varied backgrounds, hardworking, tough and independent. It’s hard to find a place with more “Don’t Tread on Me” flags & bumper stickers. 

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I’ve had the privilege to represent one of the largest, most conservative and yet diverse districts in the state.  From ports and coastal towns to the interior, bush to urban, it included rail lines, pipelines including TAPS, military bases, multiple Alaska Native tribes, mining, oil & gas, logging, fishing, and even up to Denali National Park.  

This presents unique challenges like maintaining roads and infrastructure for such a vast area. Providing emergency response like fire and police, medical services, educational opportunities, cheap energy, clean water, and jobs are tougher challenges in many areas of our district compared to urban settings.  

I think many of you feel like I do, our state is at a crossroads for the path it will follow into the future. This election may be the most important in our lifetime due to a confluence of events.  Ranked choice voting, the constitutional convention question, unaffordable long term government spending, the PFD and a changing demographic have many of us asking, “where do we go from here”?  Who we send to Juneau is just as important when combined with these other issues.  

Unfortunately, mudslinging seems to happen towards the end of campaign season. It’s still disappointing. Recently a district chair sent an email out which had significant information about my opponent. I’ve not engaged in that nor do I wish to. I didn’t ask for anything to be written and want to stay focused on what matters – policy, positions, support or opposition of legislation and other matters of governance.  

For my part, I have the highest conservative lifetime rating in the Alaska Senate by CPAC and American Conservative Union Foundation.  Not from campaign promises, but from an actual record — how I voted, bills & issues I supported or opposed, legislation I introduced and moved, speeches made on the floor and in committee. All is open for inspection.

I would, however, like to provide one clarification. My opponent dragged my name into this exchange with a gross accusation. According to Mr. Massie, “Mike Shower was absent for 25% of the votes taken during his time in office. This is not an accusation; this is a verifiable, factual statement.”

It took me about 30 minutes to go to the Alaska Legislative website, pull up my voting record and add it all up. It wasn’t difficult. Simple math. I didn’t even miss half the votes he contends, and of the legislators who missed more, not a single one even came close to missing 25% of the votes during their service, ever.

Every legislator misses votes, as life happens and it isn’t scheduled around four or more months of sessions — regular or special sessions. I don’t think anyone would fault me for missing votes for a funeral, my wife’s emergency back surgery, or a family wedding. All happened.

For my opponent’s part, either he’s getting bad advice, didn’t actually go to the website and do the math, or is being dishonest about the “verifiable facts.”  

In any case, it’s troubling to see a claim being made which is easy to disprove and appears itself to be a smear which he, ironically, claims to dislike. I have a different proposal – let’s discuss the issues that plague us:A comprehensive fiscal policy solving the Permanent Fund dividend, constitutional spending cap and a balanced budget. A comprehensive energy policy for Alaska including building a gas line, a new refinery, alternative energy including micro nuclear, hydro and upgrading our electrical grid. Cheap energy has always equaled economic prosperity but we need a plan. We must focus on how we’ll add value to our own natural resources vs. just selling raw materials.

Alaska has some of the greatest reserves on the planet, we must be in full afterburner towards developing Alaska’s resources for our state and nation. Education? Election reform? Judicial reform? Criminal justice and rehabilitation reform? Medical reform? I discuss these tirelessly on the campaign trail; I’d love to see my opponent do so. It’s what you deserve to hear from your candidates, not vague generalities.

There is much to do, and many problems and tasks before us.  We must be resolute in solving them for our children and grandchildren. We can ill afford to waste time on anything less.

For Michelle and I it has been an honor to serve our nation for over two decades in uniform. Even as we’ve worked for 12 years in the private sector and concurrently for the last 5 years in the state Senate as a citizen legislator, we’re honored to continue that service.  We consider this a sacred duty; one we take with the utmost sense of obligation and respect.

For almost 30 years, Alaska has been our home, and if the Alaskans of District O choose to send us back for another four years, we will do our best to live up to your expectations and do all in our power to set Alaska on the right path to a bright and sustainable future.  

Sen. Mike Shower is the incumbent senator for Seat O, stretching from Wasilla and Valdez to Healy and Anderson.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


    • unfortunately I don’t live in the valley any more but keeping you in my thoughts. Good Luck Senator and thank you for your service to our country.

  1. Thank you, Mike, for your dedication to community, state, and country. I can remember watching PBS during the session and ready to get flustered when you would get a chance to speak and I really felt that there really was somebody speaking for the people. So they didn’t support your bills, go figure. But you put out what we were wanting and needing. I am not even in your district yet I felt like you represented me and most other Alaskans. At least the good people I hang with, which is our small community of Chugiak. I am really disappointed with the shape- shifting “Republicans” that have decided that their candidate is somehow better than you, and call them out. It really doesn’t matter what party you claim, but what you stand for. We Alaskans know what the issues are and we are not the minority if everyone votes. God Bless America. And Chugiak, please don’t vote for Kelly Merrick, she is not a Republican nor a conservative. She will make Mike’s job only harder.

  2. Mike, you have my vote. I appreciate your record and look forward to more of the same. I credit you for eliminating the binding caucus that put state spending in an unsustainable direction. I personally thank you for that.

  3. Alaska is not on the right path and hasn’t been for a long time for the reasons you mention. When one is not on the right path one is going to an alternative destination. Pleasure seeking is the byword of the population. It’s good that the vigorous expend life energy here but the legacy if any is not what one hoped for as outlined in the US Constitution.

  4. “In five years, Sen. Shower has not succeeded in passing a single piece of legislation he originated. ”
    RANDY RUEDRICH has joined those who are VERY critical of you. Interesting tip of the hat. Would he prefer your opponent? Seems so. His article is worth a read and maybe you can respond to its accusations as well. Hard to see who is actually accomplishing any real work down there. I mean really your only real job is to get a budget and you all fail over and over at this. Our State needs less laws, not more. Remove/repeal the ones that hinder resource development and get out of the way. Repeal the laws first. Then worry about new ones. Typical govt responses “i created legislation ” man would i love to see “I repealed 10 laws last session”

    • Ruedrich is no one to quote, He was fired from state employment while Frank was Governor the skulked into the Republican( Loosly stated) party ..what a pitiful bunch, So Sad, no power just words

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