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Former Juneau police captain ready to run for Danner's seat

Jerry Nankervis says he's a "hard worker" and wants to serve

Posted: July 21, 2012 - 1:08pm  |  Updated: July 21, 2012 - 11:10pm

Although Assembly member Ruth Danner said Friday she will not run for a second term on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, her District 2 seat has caught at least one person’s eye.

Jerry Nankervis, who retired last year with the rank of captain from the Juneau Police Department, said Friday that he has filed his letter of intent to run for Assembly with the Alaska Public Offices Commission and intends to file with the city on Aug. 3, as soon as filing opens.

“I’ve been thinking about it for several years, actually,” said Nankervis.

Nankervis said he will hang up his fishing gear in mid-August to begin campaigning in earnest for the Assembly seat.

“I just like serving the community,” Nankervis said of his decision to seek office. “I love this community. I’ve retired and decided to stay here. I love it that much.”

Nankervis served on the Juneau police force from 1987 to 2011. He has been active in the community, he said, coaching hockey and volunteering. He said he is a “hard worker” who wants to ensure that “the future is as bright for my kids … as it was for me when I got here,” and will bring the knowledge he has gained from his experience to the Assembly if elected.

“I work collaboratively well with people,” said Nankervis. “I am not allergic to making decisions.”

Before Danner told the Empire that she would not seek reelection, she said Nankervis had given her a courtesy call to inform her of his intentions.

“I thanked her today for her service on the Assembly, because I know it can be a demanding thing being a public servant,” Nankervis said.

Danner’s decision not to seek a second term on the Assembly means that, for the second October in a row, no Assembly incumbent will appear on the ballot.

But many current and recent Assembly members, including Mayor Bruce Botelho, Deputy Mayor David G. Stone, Assembly members Randy Wanamaker and Johan Dybdahl, and former Assembly Member Merrill Sanford, have been elected to three terms.

In Wanamaker’s case, he ran for election in 2011 after being termed out in 2010. Sanford has said he will run for mayor this year, seeking a return to the body on which he served until last year. Botelho and Stone are termed out this year, having served since 2003.

“We’ve had a remarkable amount of consistency on the Assembly for a long time,” said City Clerk Laurie Sica. She said in the wake of October’s election, “It will be a fairly new Assembly.”

Danner’s retirement from the Assembly does clear Nankervis’ path, but it does not assure him a free ride into office. Other candidates may file starting Aug. 3, Sica said. They would have until Aug. 13 to do so.

Loren Jones, a Douglas resident who lost a close race last October to now-Assembly Member Carlton Smith, put in his letter of intent to APOC last month to run for Assembly again. He said he plans to file Aug. 3 for the District 1 seat being vacated by Stone.

“I suspect there would be at least one (other) person who would file,” Jones said. “I would be extremely surprised if I didn’t have some competition.”

Even if he draws a tough opponent in District 2, Nankervis said he is ready for the challenge.

“I don’t view it as running against anybody,” Nankervis said of the campaign to come. “I’m running for a seat.”

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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