Three running for local Assembly seat
Three local residents are vying for the Anchorage Assembly seat being vacated by three-term assemblywoman Debbie Ossiander. It is one of two seats that represents Chugiak-Eagle River.
Those on the April 2 ballot for District 2 include Amy Demboski, Bob Lupo and Pete Mulcahy. Here’s a look at each candidate:
As a member of the U.S. Army, Mulcahy came to Alaska 13 years ago. He retired from the Army in 2003 after more than 28 years of service.
He is the president of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and a member of Eagle River Rotary.
Mulcahy has an associate degree in law enforcement technology, a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in management. He works as the business development director for URS Corporation, an engineering design services firm in Anchorage.
Mayor Dan Sullivan appointed Mulcahy to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Anchorage Military and Veterans Affairs Commission. He also served on the Boy Scout Council.
Mulcahy’s decades of community service make him an ideal candidate, he said.
“I’m the best person for the job,” Mulcahy said.
Mulcahy has sought public office before and was elected to the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department Board of Supervisors.
The biggest issue facing the Municipality is the budget, Mulcahy said.
“We have to try to slow the growth of government and get the city’s budget on a sustainable path,” he said.
Protecting the CVFD, Chugiak-Eagle River Parks and Recreation Board and the Chugiak/Birchwood/Eagle River Rural Road Service Area is essential, Mulcahy said.
“Public safety is pretty darn important to me,” he said.
Demboski graduated from Chugiak High in 1994. She is the Chugiak Community Council president, a member of the Chugiak-Eagle River Parks and Recreation Board of Supervisors and a member of the Sleeping Lady Lions Club.
Demboski also served as the Muni’s Budget Advisory Commission chair.
She earned history and justice degrees from UAA and an MBA in finance from Columbia Southern University.
Demboski, who has never held public office before, said she’s seeking to bring a common sense voice to the Assembly.
“I just felt like it was actually time to have somebody who was straight talking,” she said.
Demboski said she speaks her mind, stands her ground and is passionate — all things a good advocate needs.
Her community service also makes Demboski an ideal candidate, she said.
“I really know the community,” she said. “I know the issues.”
Fiscal issues, such as the budget and renegotiating union contracts, are the most pressing items facing the Assembly, Demboski said.
Preserving Chugiak-Eagle River’s uniqueness is also among Demboski’s top issues.
“We really don’t want to look like Anchorage,” she said. “I really want to protect our rural characteristic.”
Bob Lupo moved to Alaska in 1981 and has lived in Eagle River for 29 years. He served in both the U.S. Air Force and Navy and worked for the Alaska Army National Guard for 15 years.
Now retired, Lupo earned an electronics degree from Allan Hancock College and anthropology and philosophy degrees from Montana State University. Lupo taught electronics at the UAA Mat-Su campus for nine years and is the president and CEO of a precious metals company in Texas.
He also serves as the emergency coordinator for Chugiak, Eagle River and Peters Creek.
Lupo, who has run for mayor and the Assembly in the past, has never held public office. He said government’s top priority should be ensuring the safety of its citizens.
Lupo, who described himself as a staunch supporter of the second amendment and emergency services, said running for office gives him the ability to share his views.
A volunteer chaplain, Lupo said he strongly believes in the separation of church and state.
“Dogma should be confined to churches and your own home and logic and reason should be what rules in government,” he said.
Lupo also supports Chugiak-Eagle River seceding from the Municipality.
“We need to have more of a say what goes on in Eagle River,” he said.
Lupo said he likes to solve problems — not just complain about them — and doesn’t back down.
“I’ve never walked away from a challenge,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the odds are.”