With incumbent Rep. Sam Kito III still undecided on re-election, a second person has announced their intention to seek the statehouse seat representing Haines, Skagway, Gustavus and downtown Juneau.
On Friday, Douglas resident Chris Dimond filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The letter allows him to raise money for the fall 2018 election season.
By phone Monday, the Empire asked Dimond why he decided to run.
“Well, like all Alaskan parents, I want to leave the next generation of Alaskans — which includes my children — with a healthy, robust state. That’s going to require leadership,” he said. “This district knows, as well as all Alaskans … that we have to pull together to get stuff done, and I can fill that role of leadership. I want to fill that role of leadership.”
Dimond is a fourth-generation Alaskan. His great-grandfather, Anthony Dimond, was Alaska’s territorial representative to Congress from 1933 to 1945, then became a federal district court judge in the territory.
His grandfather, John Dimond, was a Juneau pioneer who helped build the Shrine of St. Therese, became a decorated WWII veteran, then served on the first Alaska Supreme Court.
Dimond himself has never run for political office. He’s a registered undeclared voter, according to the records of the Alaska Division of Elections, and he said he intends to run as an independent in the November general election.
“I’ve never run for any office before, but the beauty of our government is that it’s a citizen legislature,” Dimond said.
While an ongoing legal battle may allow independents to run in the Democratic primary this year, Dimond said he will not pursue that option if it comes available.
“I’m going to do this as a truly independent, undeclared candidate,” he said, and characterized himself as an “Egan Democrat.”
“If I were to join a party, it would be a Democratic party,” he said.
State House District 33 is one of the most Democratic districts in Alaska, one of only a handful that have more registered Democrats than Republicans.
While the seat is currently held by Kito, the incumbent has not made up his mind about running for re-election this year.
A Douglas woman, Sara Hannan, announced her intention earlier this month to run for the seat. Hannan is a registered Democrat and said Monday that she believes “the purest form of democracy is only benefitted by more candidates.”
Dimond, who was born in Juneau and graduated in 1993 from Juneau-Douglas High School, said he doesn’t believe he’s ever crossed paths with Hannan, though both live on Douglas Island.
After graduating from JDHS, Dimond said he attended trade school and ventured Outside for several years before returning to Juneau.
In 2012, he married Nona Hamilton-Head (now Nona Dimond), a staffer to Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak. Stevens officiated their wedding, and the couple now have three children.
“As an organizer for PNWCC, a large part of my job has been representing my fellow carpenters,” Dimond wrote by text message. “As my career has advanced, this has often included interacting with, and giving testimony to, the Alaska State Legislature. I feel that my previous work experiences and political dealings make me the best candidate to represent our district. I am also aware that a big part of what makes for good leadership are the people you surround yourself with. Not to mention, my entire career and life have revolved around on-the-job training.”
• Contact reporter James Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 523-2258.