Candidates coming to Kodiak for next week’s fisheries debates

Eight candidates in the running to be Alaska’s next governor, senator and U.S. House representative will be in Kodiak early next week for this year’s fisheries debates.

The gubernatorial debate will be held Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. between Democratic candidate Les Gara and former governor Bill Walker – who’s running as an Independent. Gara received 23% of the votes in the state primary held in August and Walker received 22.7%. They both trail Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who received 40% of the vote. He will not be at this year’s fisheries debate, which is held annually in Kodiak and organized by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.

Dunleavy didn’t attend the last gubernatorial fisheries debate in 2018. It was ultimately canceled because only one candidate had agreed to participate. 

The lineup for Tuesday, Oct. 4 features two separate debates. 

All four candidates vying for Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat will talk fish first at 6:30 p.m. – those include Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, and Rep. Mary Peltola. Peltola won the seat as a Democrat during this summer’s special election to replace the late congressman Don Young. Libertarian Chris Bye will also be in Kodiak on the debate stage.

The Senate debate will be held after at 8:15 p.m. between Democrat Pat Chesbro and incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican. Murkowski’s Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka – who has been endorsed by the state of Alaska’s Republican Party and former president Donald Trump – will not be in attendance due to a scheduling conflict, according to her campaign.

Murkowski received 45% of the vote in the state primary; Tshibaka received 38.5% of the vote. Chesbro received 6.8% of ballots cast.

This year’s debates are will be held in front of an audience at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium in Kodiak, and aired on KMXT. 

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