Three file intent to run for District 26 House seat
Three candidates so far have filed their intent to run for the chance to represent Eagle River in the state House with the Alaska Public Office Committee. The deadline to file with the state Division of Elections for the Aug. 28, 2012 primary election is June 1, 2012.
Here’s a look at the candidates for who have filed so far with APOC their intent to run for the District 26 House seat:
Kim Skipper moved to Eagle River in 1985. She earned an Associate degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Skipper served as constituent relations director for Rep. Anna Fairclough from 2007 until Oct. 19, when she resigned in order to seek elected office.
Once he former boss decided to run for state Senate, Skipper said she decided to run for the vacant House seat.
“I got involved because I like the community I live in, and I care about the state of Alaska,” Skipper said.
Skipper was elected Republican Party District 17 chair in 2006. She served in that role until 2010.
A major issue for Skipper is promoting affordable energy, she said.
“I would like to remove the roadblocks that discourage production,” she said.
The state needs to plan for its economic future, Skipper said. Alaska can’t depend on the high price of oil forever, she said.
As oil production decreases and the state’s operating budget increases, there’s going to be a need for Alaska to come up with new ways of doing business.
“Somewhere it’s going to cross, and we need to figure out a plan for Alaska,” she said. “I’d like to be a part of that solution.”
Skipper said her time spent in Juneau has allowed her to form relationships that will aid her if elected to the House.
“Me being in the Legislature gives me the opportunity to hit the ground running,” she said. “I can get results relatively quickly.
“I know what I’m getting into,” Skipper said. “I know the process.”
A lifelong Alaskan, Lora Reinbold currently serves as the South Fork Community Council vice president. She was also elected to the Eagle River/Chugiak Parks & Recreation Board of Supervisors.
She also works with Young Life, a Christian nonprofit that helps create positive opportunities for teenagers, and is “the champion” for the Eagle River Trails Project.
Reinbold has served on Gov. Sean Parnell’s Resources, Energy and Environment Transition Team.
Reinbold, who earned a business administration degree from Oral Roberts University, said she’s invested thousands of volunteer hours into Eagle River.
“I have brought a lot of energy to this community,” she said. “We’re making a big difference in this community, and I want to take it to the next step.”
Energy, health care and education top Reinbold’s list of important issues, she said.
Reinbold said she’s in favor of resource development.
“It drives this economy,” she said. “I think it can be done in a responsible fashion.”
Reinbold, who has spent the past 10 years as a substitute teacher, said Alaska has great teachers and principals — but the federal government has too much influence over local education.
“We need to revisit No Child Left Behind,” she said.
And, she said, the state needs to do a better job with the resources available.
“The resources need to make it into the classroom,” she said.
Reinbold, who has also spent more than a decade in the health care industry, said patients and physicians should be in charge of health care.
“We don’t need to be weighed down with government regulation,” she said.
Larry Wood was born in Alaska and has lived in Eagle River since 1985. He is a lawyer and runs his own practice.
Wood has served as Alaska’s chief assistant attorney general, assistant public defender, assistant general counsel for Alyeska Pipeline Service and general counsel for Alaska Railroad Corporation.
Along with bringing his legal experience to the House, Wood said he decided to run to put a political science degree he earned at the University of Washington to use.
Due to Alaska’s heavy dependence on oil, the state needs to create a tax climate that encourages more production, Wood said.
“We have to make sure we have a climate that invites businesses to invest here,” he said.
The cost of energy is another major issue for Wood. He said the state needs to be doing all it can to promote natural gas exploration and production in Cook Inlet.
The state needs to have an operating budget it can afford, Wood said. Alaska needs a plan that prioritizes projects based on what’s affordable and what’s best for the future, he said.
“Alaska’s got ample potential,” Wood said. “It can be bright and beautiful geographically and economically, but we’ve got to plan for it.”
Wood said he often acts as a mediator in his job. That skill will be useful in Juneau, he said.
Mediation is a good way to help people see what the other side’s interests are, Wood said. A need to find common ground is crucial, he said.
“We can develop a plan, and then move forward with it,” Wood said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org