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Four to compete for Wheeler's Assembly seat

David Summers, Julie Morris join Mara Early and Bob Doll in race

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005

Two more candidates will compete for the at-large Juneau Assembly seat being vacated by Deputy Mayor Marc Wheeler.

David Summers, outgoing president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, and Julie Morris, a member of the Juneau School Board, declared their candidacies Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. They will run against Mara Early, chairwoman of the Juneau Coalition for Youth, and Bob Doll, former state ferry system director.

"It's going to be an exciting race," Summers said.

Summers, 35, said he will focus on drawing young people back to Juneau.

"We don't want to turn Juneau into a retirement community," Summers said.

He would try to improve Juneau's relations with the rest of the state and scrutinize city expenditures, he said.

Summers, a north Douglas resident, said he chose to run for the at-large seat because he doesn't want to run against District 1 downtown incumbent Merrill Sanford.

"Merrill does a great service to our community. I won't run against him," Summers said.

Among the four candidates running for Wheeler's seat, Morris is the only one who has been elected to public office. She is serving her first term on the School Board.

A mother of five, Morris said she wants to create jobs and affordable housing to keep young people in town.

Morris, 45, who has worked for Rep. Mike, R-Nikiski, since March, said that experience has given her a good idea of legislative processes and budget allocations.

She said she supports building a road out of Juneau, a second bridge across Gastineau Channel and more economic development such as Kensington and Greens Creek mines.

While four people compete for the at-large seat, Sanford in District 1 and Jonathan Anderson in the District 2 Mendenhall Valley area are running unchallenged so far. Today is the final day for candidates to file with the city.

Anderson, director of the University of Alaska Southeast's public administration master's program, is running for the seat currently held by Stan Ridgeway. Ridgeway said he will not run to retain the seat.

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



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