City races begin to heat up today with the opening of the filing period for the Oct. 3 general election.
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The 10-day filing period for six open positions in city government begins at 8 a.m. today at City Hall. Three School Board positions, two Assembly slots and the mayor's seat will be on the ballot.
"I'm kind of excited to get the ballot going and see who's going to be running and who is willing to serve," City Clerk Laurie Sica said.
Mayor Bruce Botelho has announced he will seek re-election. He said he will file with the city on Monday.
"I just have to file it within the window and there is nothing significant with tomorrow, Monday or a week from tomorrow," he said.
Botelho said the campaign season has kicked off slowly because much of his time has been consumed with tasks for the city, primarily preparing for the special Assembly meeting on the Juneau access road proposal last week. He said he will gear up his campaign after the city filing period closes on Aug. 14.
"I'll wait until the filing period is over," he said. "I don't know yet who will be running against me and I think to a certain extent that helps define what the issues will be."
A District One Assembly seat held by David Stone and a District Two seat held by Dan Peterson also will be on the ballot. Stone could not be reached for comment.
City seats open on oct. 3 ballot:
Mayor: presently held by Bruce Botelho.
District One Assembly Seat: presently held by David Stone.
District Two Assembly Seat: presently held by Dan Peterson.
School Board: three seats, presently held by Phyllis Carlson, Julie Morris and Andi Story.
Peterson announced Thursday he will not seek re-election to the Assembly because he intends to apply for law school.
"I really figured it wouldn't be in good faith to run for another three-year term if I'm going to be leaving town," he said.
Assuming he is accepted to law school, Peterson, 23, said he plans to seek more time in public office.
"I'm planning on eventually coming back to Juneau and, whatever I do, plan to stay involved in the community."
Sara Chambers has announced she will run for the vacant Assembly seat held by Peterson. Mara Early also has filed her intent to run in the October election with the state, although she has not registered with the city.
District Two Assembly member Randy Wanamaker, whose seat is not on the upcoming ballot, has announced he will seek the House District 4 seat held by Bruce Weyhrauch, who will not run for re-election. Democrat Andrea Doll has announced she will run for the same position.
"It is time to step up to the next level. It's a very logical step of what I'm doing," said Wanamaker, a Republican.
He said it is important for Juneau to have a member of the majority in the state House to represent the interests of the community, particularly in keeping state jobs and working on Juneau's transportation issues.
"I'm an experienced legislator," said Wanamaker, who has served on the Assembly for five years. "I've got a lot of experience so it makes sense for me to step forward now."
The School Board seats held by Phyllis Carlson, Andi Story and Julie Morris also will be on the October ballot.
Morris said she has yet to make a decision on whether to run for re-election to the School Board, file for an Assembly seat, or not run at all.
"I'm right in the middle of making that decision," she said. "I still need to talk to my family and see what we want to do because it's such a time commitment."
She said she has her papers ready and will make the decision in the coming days.
"I still want to serve, if not now, then later," she said. "I enjoy doing that kind of work. There's still a lot to be done on the School Board. We still got a school to build."
Story said she intends to file today for re-election to the School Board.
"I really have felt that it has been worthwhile," she said. "I just wanted to continue to work for top-notch schools for Juneau. I think there's work to be done and I want to be there."
Continuing to bring more dollars into the classroom is an important objective for her, Story said.
"We've got some exciting things that we've been working on and we're heading in the right direction," she said. "We certainly have some improvements to make."
Carlson, the School Board president, said she also plans to file today for reelection.
"I can't believe three years have already gone by and I'm back in this position," she said.
Carlson said the School Board has good continuity and she feels that she can still contribute to the district and the community.
"I care very much about educational systems, so in that regard it was a very easy decision," she said.
The ballot will include two propositions, one for a charter amendment on bond spending and one to renew a 3 percent sales tax.
"Unless we had a special meeting to introduce something, that's probably going to be it," Sica, the city clerk, said.
Filing for any of the six open seats must be completed by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, she said.
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