With Sen. Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla rejoining the race for governor, the political players in the Mat-Su are starting to rustle.
Pam Goode of Delta Junction filed for the primary first, but didn’t indicate whether she will challenge Rep. George Rauscher or go for Dunleavy’s Senate seat.
She recently rejoined the ranks of the Republican Party after having been associated with the Alaska Constitution Party for several years.
Goode ran against Rauscher for House District 9 in 2016 and took 37.18 percent of the vote in the general election as a member of the Constitution Party. In 2014 she ran against Jim Colver for the House District 9 seat and took 27 percent of the general election vote as a CP. This makes her an experienced campaigner in the district, and she has conservative credentials.
The first to file for Dunleavy’s Senate seat is Mat-Su Borough Assembly member Randall Kowalke, who represents the District 7 area of the borough, encompassing Meadow Lakes west, and the northern area of the Borough up to the Denali Highway including Trapper Creek, Talkeetna, Willow, and Sheep Mountain Areas.
Kowalke won his seat on the Assembly by a slim margin in 2015 against Doyle Holmes. He and Holmes have some bad blood between them that stemmed from a lawsuit a few years ago, and some speculate that Holmes could try to foil him by filing against him. Kowalke sees himself as a moderate conservative.
Rep. David Eastman, District 10, and Rep. George Rauscher, District 9, have eyed the Dunleavy seat, but neither has indicated whether he’ll make a move. Both are conservative Republicans who have not agreed with the way the governor has proceeded by cutting Permanent Fund dividends in half.
If Rauscher jumps in, Pam Goode may decide to run for his seat, which would then be an open seat. The man who Rauscher beat in the 2016 primary, Jim Colver, might also jump in to regain his seat.
And if Eastman jumps in and runs for Senate, it’s just as likely that Randall Kowalke will consider running for the House seat Eastman would vacate.