ANCHORAGE - Former state Sen. Jerry Ward has returned to the political ring, filing to run in the August Republican primary against Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai.
Ward, who was defeated by Wagoner in 2002, said he wants to rein in the "tax-and-spend" Republicans who have failed to cut government.
Ward is now a resident of Sterling and said he sells real estate. He moved his legal residence from Anchorage to Nikiski two years ago in an attempt to retain his Senate seat after redistricting. Questions about where he really lived dogged his candidacy. He said he has now sold both his Anchorage home and the mobile home in Nikiski.
Ward, 55, is striking themes familiar from his six years in the Senate: Slash spending, protect Permanent Fund dividends, privatize services. The only difference is that the governor's mansion and both legislative branches are controlled by his own party.
He criticized Wagoner and the Republicans for imposing a tax on studded tires, raising business fees and diverting money into the general fund that could have gone to the Permanent Fund.
"Nobody that I'm talking to wants to have an additional raid on the Permanent Fund until government spending is under control," Ward told the Anchorage Daily News.
He said he would eliminate power cost assistance to Bush villages, travel by state bureaucrats and every deputy commissioner position in the government. He also said he would work to change the state's school-funding formula to reduce the disproportionate funds now going to rural districts, where costs are higher.