The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Primary Election Candidates - State Senators & Representatives

Election 2012


On the Ballot

Alaska Republican Party

Senate District N

Joe Arness (R)

Cathy Giessel (R)

State Representative District 28

Mike Chenault (R)

Alaska Democratic Pary

Alaska Libertarian Party

Alaska Independence Party

Senate District N

No candidates on the primary ballot.

State Representative District 28

No candidates on the primary ballot.

How do you plan to serve the people of your district?

Cathy Giessel
Senate District N • Republican • Anchorage

Folks living in District N want someone they can trust, someone who

• has integrity.

• will listen and hear their needs.

• will do what they say they will do.

• has the knowledge, skills and experience to do the job.

• shares their common sense values and understands core values of faith, family and freedom.

• has the energy and stamina to work hard for their needs.

• has the commitment to stay focused on the job

• believes that we have a better future ahead.

These are exactly the qualities I look for in a leader…and I pledge to my district that I will give my whole mind and heart to continue to deliver these qualities.

The most important economic challenge facing District N in the next 5 years is refilling the TransAlaska Pipeline (TAPS) with oil.

Refilling the TAPS will:

• Continue to provide funding for education, transportation, public safety, fisheries enhancement and more. Today, 93% of our state funds come from taxes on petroleum production on the North Slope.

• Keep our kids (and families) here, by providing jobs. Yes, we have jobs in Cook Inlet and in our ports but we are losing the skilled workforce to other areas of the US, where petroleum resource development is going strong.

• Allow us to develop energy for our own use, by making less costly natural gas and products from oil available to our residents.

I am committed, in my mind and heart, during the 28th Legislature, to do all I can to move Alaska toward a more prosperous future.

Our District N has all the best Alaska has to offer…

• …Communities where neighbors know neighbors and help each other

• …Families who hold to traditional, commonsense values

• …Parents dedicated to raising well-educated, productive kids who will have opportunities to have a prosperous life

• …Seniors enjoying retirement here

• …Land that is rich in natural resources such as oil, natural gas, fish and wildlife, minerals, unparalleled beauty

• …This is Senate District N

During my time in the Senate, I have maintained a constant and determined focus on improving Alaska’s ability to use our natural resources in a reasoned, balanced way. This means a tax structure that is fair for all and allows us to compete with other states and countries. This means regulations that are reasonable and allow people to do the work they have the skills to do. We must maintain Alaska’s authority over our land, water and laws, and resist interference from the federal government.

Imagine Alaska as a place where all our citizens can become the best they can be. Imagine Alaska as a place of great opportunity for all citizens to earn a better living, support their family, and have a rewarding career. I am listening, and have heard that this is what folks in my district care most about. It is the highest and best goal we can have, and it is what I am working for.

Joe Arness
Senate District N • Republican • Kenai

Representing an area as diverse and geographically enormous as the new Senate District N will be a challenging prospect for anyone. I believe I’m the man for the job. I have spent the last 20 + years representing the geographically enormous and diverse Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. The lessons that I’ve learned through those years, I believe, will serve me well while I am in Juneau.

Probably the biggest lesson I have learned is that other people have valid and legitimate concerns and opinions. I do not have to be aligned with someone in order to listen to their point of view and take it into honest consideration. I have learned that I can find myself in the minority on individual issues and not be offended by that situation. I have learned that it is ok to be sensitive to the needs of an individual community and to deal with those needs as well as possible even if the needs of the larger community take precedence.

Along the way I have come to respect and appreciate the guidelines found in the Open Meetings Act. I absolutely believe that the State Legislature should also operate by those guidelines. I understand very clearly that it is much easier to accomplish the resolution of problems if you can do it behind closed doors. That approach, however, leaves the citizens of the State with no opportunity to observe and evaluate their representatives in a meaningful way. Irrespective of what the organization of the Senate is after this election, I will do my best to see to it that the business of the Legislature is exposed to the light of day and not be transacted in caucuses with those outcomes being only staged for public consumption.

The other tenet that I have observed is that at the base of it all, we are all generally united in one over-riding thought. That being that we want our State to be economically stable with a tremendous respect for our environment and a vision to make the future better for our children than it was for us. Of course, we may all have a different vision of how to achieve those goals…and in the end that is the primary role of the State Legislature; to determine the best path to follow to find our way to that end. We can be too friendly to business or we can be too devoted to the environment and we will not find a balance. I believe that such a balance does exist and will work to find it.

In my opinion, the past Legislative Session was a travesty and a black eye in the history of Alaska. Some of that was party politics and some of it was sheer exercise of power by individuals in positions of power. Opening that process, removing the “veto” power of committee chairman and demanding a discourse from our representatives which includes all views will help to improve the product delivered by the State of Alaska.


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