U.S. Senate race draws the usual suspects

Jim Dore, Theresa Obermeyer, Don Wright enter the fray yet again

Posted: Monday, August 23, 2004

Three U.S. Senate candidates running in Tuesday's primary election have made repeated attempts over the years to secure top elected positions in state and federal government.

In 2002 Jim Dore, 53, and Theresa Obermeyer, 59, both of Anchorage, ran for the U.S. Senate spot held by Republican Ted Stevens; Dore as a Republican and Obermeyer as a Democrat.

Don Wright, 74, of Fairbanks, ran for governor on the Alaskan Independence Party ticket in 2002 but lost to Republican Frank Murkowski.

This year the three candidates face off against political heavyweights such as Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, former state Sen. Mike Miller and former Gov. Tony Knowles.

Obermeyer, a real estate broker and Anchorage School Board member from 1990 to 1994, claims that the state has unfairly denied her husband, Thomas, a license to practice law in Alaska.

"My husband has been licensed in Missouri and he has not gotten reciprocity (from Alaska) and they have never licensed him," she said. "I am left with running for office."

Obermeyer also accused top elected officials of corruption such as Sen. Ted Stevens, Gov. Frank Murkowski and the board of the Alaska Permanent Fund. She encouraged those interested in visiting her Web site, www.tobermeyer.info.

She said if elected she would push for more funding for education and less funding for the military.

"We spend seven times as much on the military as we do on education," she said. "Children need access to education at any income level. That is becoming currently impossible."

Dore, a carpenter for a home construction company, said he's running to keep the federal government from "plundering taxpayers" for trillions of dollars.

He contends that states should pay for services such as prescription drug benefits, education and social services.

"It's unlawful to take the taxpayers' money to fund these programs," Dore said, adding that such federal taxes are unconstitutional.

Dore said he is an anti-abortion proponent, and his convictions on abortion are "unwaveringly pro-life." He said he also would work to bring home American troops in Iraq and around the world.

"On the Iraq war, that's just a total disaster," he said. "Iraq wasn't worth one U.S. soldier's life."

He also advocates eliminating all federal bans on firearms. "It's all unconstitutional," he said.

Wright is a former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives and helped negotiate the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. He is now retired. He could not be reached for comment.

• Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at timothy.inklebarger@juneauempire.com.

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