The race for House District 32 is shaping out to be a competitive one. This week Kodiak City Councilman Rich Walker announced his plans to run for the seat, which is currently held by Representative Alan Austerman.
Austerman has not hinted at plans for a re-election, but last month his daughter, Borough Assemblywoman Carol Austerman, announced her intent to run, as has former Assemblywoman Louise Stutes.
Walker enters the race amidst his second year on the city council.
“And I’ve been part of the group of us that go down to Juneau every year and talk to our legislatures and all that and kind of see how the process is and try to get money for our projects in Kodiak. And after doing that I really thought that man I could do this job here. Being a project manager and dealing with government projects and a lot of the business side of my life dealt with communicating with people and sitting down and talking out different projects and how they’re going and money and I thought that was kind of a good fit.”
If elected, Walker said he’d like to focus on making sure House District 32 gets the money it needs for infrastructure projects.
“Water and sewer projects, roads, harbors for all of our coastal communities within District 32, which Kodiak is a part of now. And that’s where the money comes out of – Juneau. ”
Other areas Walker said he’d like to focus on are education and making communities feasible for young adults looking to start families and find employment.
“My slogan I kind of thought of for my campaign is, ‘families first.’ You know you got to think about the families we represent in our communities.”
Walker said he plans on making trips to many of the communities included in House District 32 – places like Yakutat and Cordova. He said he also plans on visiting the villages around Kodiak.
So far Walker, Stutes and Austerman are the only three who have filed for the House seat, but the deadline for this year’s elections doesn’t close until June 2, which leaves plenty of time for others to enter the race. The primary will be held on August 19.