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Politicians slow to file for city election

Some old, some new names will appear on Juneau ballot

Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2008

Juneau's would-be pols didn't exactly overwhelm the city clerk's office last week filing papers announcing their intent to run for elected office.

Only Juneau Assembly Member Jonathan Anderson filed his completed paperwork Friday, the first day candidates could submit their paperwork with the city.

The two other assembly members up for re-election, Bob Doll and Merrill Sanford, said they plan to file soon. The filing deadline is Aug. 18 and the election is Oct. 7.

Anderson said he enjoyed his first three-year term on the Assembly and is eager to serve again.

"I truly have fallen in love with Juneau," said Anderson, who teaches public administration courses at the University of Alaska Southeast.

"I'm a policy wonk at heart," Anderson said. "You know, this is really interesting to me."

Though he doesn't know if he'll have one, Anderson said he'd welcome an opponent in the race for the District 2 seat, which has its population base in the Mendenhall Valley.

Assembly member Doll, who is running for the assembly's city-wide seat, agreed.

"I'm sure it's always best for the public if there's a good discussion in the campaign," said Doll, who spent 30 years in the Navy and is helping to run the re-election campaign of his wife, Rep. Andrea Doll, D-Juneau.

Local businessman Wade Bryson said he plans to run for Doll's seat. Bryson said that as an assembly member he would focus on improving the business climate in Juneau.

"I'd like to reverse the economic conditions of this town," said Bryson, who owns the town's two Subway restaurants.

Bryson, a father of five, said he has never run for public office before. He said he is aware that it can be difficult to unseat an incumbent opponent.

"I know that I have a huge uphill battle ahead," Bryson said.

Doll said he wants to serve again to see through the projects the city has started, including a city-wide recycling program and improving the city's mass transit system.

"There's plenty to do, and I would like to do it," Doll said.

Sanford said he too would like to oversee the completion of the city's projects, including the large number of public building projects that due to start soon.

Sanford said he hasn't heard of anyone else seeking his District 1 seat, which includes Douglas, downtown Juneau and Thane.

"If I have to, I'll run a full blown campaign," Sanford said.

Voters will also cast ballots for two seats on the Juneau School Board. Board members Sean O'Brien and Margo Waring's terms are expiring. O'Brien could not be reached for comment, but a local radio station reported that he will not seek another three-year term.

Waring said she would announce Thursday whether she will seek re-election.

Dick Monkman, a parent of two students in the Juneau School District, filed part of the required papers Friday indicating that he will run for school board.

Monkman said he would like to help find solutions to some of the "perennial problems" the school district faces, such as the dropout rate among Alaska Native students.

An attorney, Monkman said he's never run for public office before.

Another political neophyte planning on running is Sally Saddler, a former coordinator with the state Department of Education and Early Development and mother of two students.

Saddler, an economist, said she wants students to be "consumers of their own education" and make sure the district continues to offer strong options for vocational training.

• Contact reporter Alan Suderman at 523-2268 or alan.suderman@juneauempire.com.



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