Watkins Running as Democrat for House 32 Seat

Democratic House Dist. 32 Candidate Brent Watkins of Kodiak
Democratic House Dist. 32 Candidate Brent Watkins of Kodiak

Jay Barrett/KMXT
Another Kodiak resident has thrown his hat into the ring for the House District 32 seat in the Alaska Legislature. Brent Watkins, a 54-year-old father of three, was a delegate to the recent Alaska Democratic Convention from Kodiak for presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

“I was looking at running this fall, and not sure just where I wanted to fit myself into the equation,” Watkins said. “And after the first day of the convention we walked into a planning meeting. It was going to be an hour, hour-and-a-half meeting, (and) about 11 hours later we all came out of the meetings, and I came out with the Democratic party people there asked if I’d be interested in putting my name in the hat and running for a seat on the party, and I gladly accepted.”

Watkins says he’d like to do in Juneau what he’s done much of his life:

“I try and do my best for as many people as I can, and not just the people I know and see everyday. I want to think beyond that and try and cover the people who are afraid to come to the public meetings or worried about how they’ll sound when they speak. They’re just afraid to participate. They don’t feel like if they come forward and put effort into that participation that any result really comes out of that. People are really discouraged. I think I can help them turn that around and see that your participation in the government really does matter,” Watkins said. “It’s more than voting, too. It’s being active in committees and in the community, and just doing what you see needs to be done and just jump in and do it.”

As for now, Watkins says, he wants to hear from others in the district, which stretches from Kodiak Island to Yakutat.

“I’m listening to people and addressing their concerns,” Watkins said. “Where I wasn’t specifically looking to run for this seat I don’t have a particular outline for everything going. I picked up the stack of House bills and the amazing piles of paperwork I’ve been running through in the past week.”

The District 32 incumbent, Republican Representative Louise Stutes, is seeking re-election, while recent Republican district chair Duncan Fields is also running, as an independent.

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