COMMENTARY: A tale of two strong women: a critical choice for Eagle River
Eagle River voters must choose between two impressive candidates for state House. I consider both friends of many years. They appear to share much the same value system and both are strong women, but there is a profound difference between them.
In elective politics, it is essential to have good people skills and to be able to build ad hoc teams to get policy changes and goals met. The successful policy maker must have integrity and be trustworthy.
Sadly, the incumbent Eagle River state house representative, Lora Reinbold, is not able to provide those virtues and skills at this stage of life. Her legendary anger, inability to keep staff, lack of keeping commitments, misrepresentations, record-breaking unexcused absences, and virulent attacks on others have alienated her fellow legislators and many constituents.
In addition, Lora’s actions on the budget had the unhappy result of thwarting more Republican budget cuts. I still hold the opinion that Lora’s intentions are to do good, but the damage she has done and the severe limits she has put on her effectiveness, make it time for Lora to take a couple of years off.
She can hopefully use that time to work through her personal issues and then come back and use her talents to serve our state and district with distinction.
Lora’s opponent Crystal Kennedy is much different at this stage of her life. Crystal is quiet, very hard-working, and builds respect and relationships where ever she goes. She does not appear to have any need to get attention, pick fights, jump in front of cameras or microphones or run off at the mouth.
She served us with distinction on the Anchorage School Board and numerous boards and commissions. She is strong, principled, informed, and has a proven ability to work with all kinds of people and groups to get good things done.
I, and most area legislators, have chosen to support Crystal at this critical time in our state. I hope and pray that Lora can use a well-deserved break as an opportunity to gain some new maturity and wisdom in her life journey. We need her back in the battle in the future.
Fred Dyson represented Eagle River in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1996-2002 and in the Senate from 2003-2014.