Wasilla Tory lawmaker Christopher Kurka to run for Alaska governor in 2022

Representative Christopher Kurka, R-Wasilla, will run for governor of Alaska in 2022.

Kurka, a former director of Alaska Right to Life, was elected to the State House in 2020 and is in his first term in the Legislature.

In a video released Monday morning, former Alaska US Senate candidate Joe Miller said he supported Kurka as a more conservative option for incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Kurka is due to announce his candidacy in a pre-recorded video ad at 3 p.m. Monday.

Dunleavy said in a brief interview that he was not surprised that another candidate is stepping in, although “if you asked me yesterday I wouldn’t have thought (Christopher Kurka) would be at the top of the list, but again, I don’t have a top of the list.

He said there were always “big tent differences within the Republican Party” and that “once the facts are known and people understand what we have done and what we have not done. not done ”, he is“ fairly confident that our record will speak for itself.

In Alaska’s new electoral system, all candidates, regardless of party, will run in the same August primary election. The top four qualify for the November general election, where a winner will be chosen by priority vote.

On Monday, Les Gara, an Anchorage Democrat, outgoing Republican Dunleavy, independent Bill Walker, libertarian Billy Toien and libertarian Roman Shevchuk had registered as candidates for governor with the Elections Division or the Alaska Public Service Commission. Kurka had not yet filed a case with either agency, and it is not yet clear who will be his lieutenant governor.

“I expect there will be more people running, to be honest with you,” Dunleavy said.

The deadline for candidates to participate in the race is June 1.

Political analyst Ivan Moore has said Kurka’s entry into the race will not immediately turn the race upside down, but that could change in the long term if Kurka becomes better known to voters.

“The conservative right is not happy with Dunleavy, and a certain proportion of them will look for an alternative, but it is a huge task,” said Moore.

Based on the polls he conducted, Moore said that at present, Gara, Dunleavy and Walker are the three “heavyweights” most likely to pass from primary to general election, and the remaining candidates. compete for fourth place.

Joelle Hall, president of Alaska AFL-CIO and its former political director, has a different point of view. The AFL-CIO is one of the most powerful political organizations in Alaska.

Hall believes conservatives and far-right libertarians may make up a quarter of Alaska’s electorate, and said Miller’s coordinated announcement with Kurka indicates a degree of organization that could threaten Dunleavy.

“If he loses all the far right and everyone on the left in the middle has seen that he can’t (accomplish) what he promised to do, you know, does he come in fourth? in the four-man race? ” she said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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