Two more file for municipal election

Incumbent Dybdahl joins Assembly race; Brown to run for School Board

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2007

Incumbent Johan Dybdahl confirmed Tuesday he will run for re-election to the Juneau Assembly.

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Previously he said he was likely to run in the Oct. 2 city election, but had not made a final decision.

Juneau Planning Commission member Marshal Kendziorek was certified last week by the city clerk's office to run for Dybdahl's areawide seat.

Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium family counselor Gregory Brown Sr. filed for one of the two Juneau School Board seats that will be open. President Bill Peters and longtime School Board member Mary Becker said they do not intend to seek re-election.

Incumbent Randy Wanamaker has been certified to run for re-election to the District 2 Assembly seat he now holds. Dixie Hood has been certified to run for the District 2 Assembly seat.

As of Wednesday, nobody had filed for the District 1 Assembly seat held by Jeff Bush. Bush told the Juneau Empire he intends to seek re-election.

The filing period closes at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

Dybdahl said he is running for a second term to continue building on his experience gained from the last three years on the Assembly.

"It takes a little bit of time to get your feet on the ground and it also takes a little time to gain enough influence on the Assembly to get something done," he said. "It takes five votes if you want to get anything done. I think we're there, so I decided to go for the next three years and see how it comes out."

Maintaining jobs in Juneau will be the main focus of his campaign, Dybdahl said.

"I think that all the other things have to take a second place," he said. "There's a lot of talk about the quality of life and affordable housing and other issues, and they have no relevance whatsoever if you don't have a job."

Dybdahl said another issue he wants to keep "hammering away on" is securing Juneau as the hub of Southeast Alaska.

"We have to have a larger focus, and by that I mean a larger focus outside of Juneau," he said. "I think we need to think more of a community of Southeast if we are going to get things done."

Brown said he filed to run for the School Board because he is concerned about the high dropout rate in the district.

"I've been thinking about it for a while and the opportunity is now so I might as well jump at it and see if I can help out within the system."

Brown, who worked for a number of years as a cultural specialist at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, said he has worked with at-risk kids and believes he can help get students excited about education.

"I think I can catch a lot of those kids and get them back in school with the right type of programs," he said.

The opening of Thunder Mountain High School will be an opportunity to address the dropout rate and find new ways to keep kids in school, Brown said.

"We need new programs or something to keep the kids interested in education," he said. "We'll have to find that avenue and tap into it and keep them into school. There's a lot of kids who want to get back in school to get their diploma, but something isn't going right."

• Contact Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.



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