By Daysha Eaton/KMXT
Dennis Harris of Kodiak is running as a democrat to represent District 32, trying to unseat two-term incumbent Republican representative Louise Stutes. Harris says Alaska needs legislators who look at evidence and care about people.
“A lot of people are doing things because they are partisan. They’re doing things because of just how they feel about a subject rather than saying, you know, it’s not about me and how I feel. It is about what is best for the community and the state,” said Harris. “I said, you know, I know a lot about healthcare. I know a lot about economics, education. I’m educated. I care about people. And I don’t want to complain about the system. I want to fix it.”
The 27-year-old grew up in Kodiak. He has an undergraduate degree in biology and recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
In May, he returned to Kodiak, where he has lived since he was 13 years old.
Harris says, if elected, one of his priorities would be fixing healthcare.
“As a pharmacist, I know a lot about that. Looking at increasing the minimum wage to stimulate the economy and help people who are struggling the most. Affordable housing. Another thing I’m going to focus on is diversifying the economy because, looking at the future of Alaska, we need to make sure that we have a long-term plan. We can’t do these one-year budgets that are just trying to make ends meet,” said Harris.
Harris says protecting the PFD is also a priority. Harris adds that he plans to work as a pharmacist in addition to holding public office if he is elected.
Stutes has served as the Representative for District 32 since 2015 and has lived in Kodiak since 1980.
Stutes is also being challenged by current Kodiak City Councilman Richard Walker, who has the endorsement of the Republican Party.
The primary election will be held on August 21, followed by a general election in November.