Wheeler to leave Assembly

Two-termer wants to spend more time with his wife and child

Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2005

Deputy Mayor Marc Wheeler said he will not run to retain his at-large Juneau Assembly seat.

Wheeler, who has served two terms on the Assembly, threw his support to Bob Doll, who declared his candidacy for Wheeler's seat Thursday.

"Stepping away from a possible re-election campaign was a tough choice, but it's a lot easier to do with another candidate in the race that I believe in," Wheeler said. "I've known Bob for the past five years. He's a hard worker, has a strong character, and will do his level best to fight for Juneau's future."

Mara Early, chairwoman of the Juneau Coalition for Youth, is competing with Doll for the at-large seat. The election is Oct. 4.

Doll is a former state ferry system director and ran unsuccessfully for a state House post last year.

Wheeler said not running for re-election was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make but he wants to spend more time with his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.

Wheeler was first elected to the Assembly in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002. He was elected deputy mayor in 2004 by his fellow Assembly members.

He is executive director for the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Alaska.

Wheeler cited the Dimond Park Community Center pool as his last main priority on the Assembly. He championed the project in both his 2000 and 2002 campaigns.

"I am committed to helping get the pool on the ballot this October," he said. "And I will work hard campaigning for the pool this fall to make this important project a reality."

So far, four people have filed their Assembly nomination petitions with the city.

In District 1, which includes downtown and surrounding areas, incumbent Merrill Sanford filed with the city Friday.

Jonathan Anderson, director of the University of Alaska Southeast's public administration master's program, is running for the District 2 Mendenhall Valley seat. Stan Ridgeway holds that seat.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.

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