Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan has indicated he may not run for his seat this year. On KINY Radio’s Action Line program in January, he put it somewhat cryptically, “I’ll let you know in February when we talk again.”
He’ll be back on Pete Carran’s show on Tuesday. That’s when Juneauites expect some kind of announcement.
But meanwhile, someone has filed for the Senate seat that Egan has held since 2006: Juneau resident Larry Cotter, a nonpartisan.
Cotter is the director of the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, which is a seafood company that harvests, processes, and markets wild Alaska seafood from the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean in a sustainable manner. He has been involved with the Democratic Party in the past, and chaired a Democratic Party precinct in Juneau. He was also a labor organizer at one point in his career.
Who else might run for the Juneau seat?
Chris Dimond, union representative for the Carpenters Local 1281. But he may be thinking of another seat, perhaps Sam Kito’s District 33 House seat. And Jesse Kiehl, who is an aide to Egan and also serves on the Juneau Assembly, has also coveted the title.
There’s also Beth Kerttula, who recently moved back to Juneau after having left the House in 2014 to accept a fellowship at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University. She served as Director of the National Oceans Council under President Barack Obama.
This is considered a safe Democrat seat, but of the three who might run for Senate Seat Q, only Kiehl is an actual registered Democrat.
EGAN STEPPED UP TO SERVE IN 2009
In April 2009, Juneau Democrats were in disarray. Sen. Kim Elton had been appointed to the Obama Administration to work in the Department of Interior, and had resigned that March. The Democrats offered one name: Rep. Beth Kerttula.
But Gov. Sarah Palin was having none of it. Kerttula had gone out of her way to trash talk the governor after she had been tapped by presidential candidate John McCain to be his running mate.
Finally, after going through a couple of nominees, Palin appointed Egan as a compromise candidate, and he was confirmed by the Senate Democrats and Juneau Democrats.
Egan had already served as mayor of Juneau, and had been on the Juneau Assembly and the Planning Commission. He was the son of former Gov. Bill Egan, and a lifelong Juneauite. Egan is masterful at developing and keeping relationships around the capital.
He graduated from Radio Operation Engineering School and from the United States Army Radio Communications School. And for much of his professional life he has been the president/general manager of Alaska–Juneau Communications, and has hosted the “Problem Corner” radio show, a Juneau classic.