Pillifant, Sanford to file for Juneau Assembly

Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Juneau Assembly incumbent Frankie Pillifant and Juneau Planning Commission member Merrill Sanford plan to run for seats on the Assembly this fall, they said today.

Both have sent letters of intent to the Alaska Public Offices Commission, allowing them to raise money and campaign. The local election is Oct. 1.

The city's filing period opens Aug. 12 and closes Aug. 22. Although candidates file for a seat based on the district they live in, voters can cast ballots for all seats.

Pillifant, a minerals and natural resource development specialist with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, has served one term on the Assembly. She plans to file for re-election to the District 1 seat, she said.

Pillifant said she wants to continue to support the decision-making process and collaboration between citizens and businesses.

"I wanted to step forward and do my part in democracy for the people, by the people," she said. "As arduous as it can be, I enjoy it and realize I do bring a lot to the dialogue. I've learned a lot by working with a lot of different people."

During her time on the Assembly, Pillifant said she has helped move forward the long-range tourism plan and emphasized transportation projects and schools. She also has focused on holding taxes steady while maintaining services, she said. Pillifant is chairwoman of the Public Works and Facilities Committee.

Sanford, who is serving his second term on the Planning Commission, retired as Glacier Fire District Chief in 1998 and from the volunteer fire department in the Douglas district last year.

"I've lived here all my life. I have my family here and my grandkids, and I want to help keep this city going on the straight and narrow," he said.

Sanford said he hasn't decided whether he will run for the District 1 or areawide seat. If elected to the Assembly, he said, he'd like to focus on the swimming pool and recreation center in the Dimond Park complex and school projects. The tourism plan is another interest, he said.

"It's a great big issue to get settled and moving forward," he said.

Assembly member Don Etheridge said last month he planned to file for re-election to the District 2 seat, and Assembly member Marc Wheeler is seeking re-election to the areawide seat. Therapist Dixie Hood also plans to run, but said she hasn't decided whether to file for the District 2 or areawide seat.

Three seats on the Assembly are up for election this year. The District 1, District 2 and areawide seats have three-year terms.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.

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