Former state AG to run for Juneau mayor

Incumbent Sally Smith opts out of race; Botelho to square off against Dick Knapp

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2003

More than a decade after completing his first term as Juneau mayor, former state Attorney General Bruce Botelho filed Wednesday to run for a second term.

Outgoing Mayor Sally Smith said she would not run in the Oct. 7 election and endorsed Botelho.

Botelho, 54, will face Dick Knapp, 74, former commissioner of the Department of Transportation. Other candidates also could file before today's 4:30 p.m. deadline.

Botelho served on the Juneau Assembly from 1983-86 and as mayor from 1988-91.

In 1994, Republican Gov. Walter Hickel appointed Botelho attorney general, where he served until 2002. He also has served on the Alaska Permanent Fund Board of Trustees, the Alaska Resources Commission, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and the Juneau Human Rights Commission.

"I have made a lifetime commitment to my hometown, and as mayor I will be able to serve my community during these challenging times," Botelho said in a prepared statement.

Botelho said he would work to diversify the economy and focus on securing a new state capitol for Juneau.

"I think it's fair to say that the facilities are inadequate right now, and we should be working with the state to find a financial plan that would lead to a facility that Alaskans can be proud of," he said.

Knapp served as rear admiral for the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska from 1980-84 and commissioner for the state Department of Transportation from 1984-86, under Gov. Bill Sheffield

Knapp also has been on the Juneau Docks and Harbors Board since 2000 and for the last year has served as chairman.

As of Wednesday, one Assembly seat was uncontested, and three candidates had filed for the five seats open on the School Board.

David Stone is the lone candidate so far for the Assembly District 1 seat held by Ken Koelsch, who as of Wednesday had not filed for re-election. Incumbent Dale Anderson and challenger Dan Peterson are running for the Assembly District 2 seat. Juneau residents will be able to vote for District 1 and District 2 seats.

Three candidates - Chuck Cohen, Alan Schorr and Dave Williams - filed to run for five open Juneau School Board seats.

City Clerk Laurie Sica said it is not unusual for candidates to file just before the deadline.

"I think it's been like this in the past," Sica said. "... I would hope that we have a rush of people, because I like when we have candidates to choose from."

Candidates for mayor and Assembly must be qualified voters and have lived in Juneau for at least one year. Assembly candidates must be a resident of the district for which they are running.

Those running for School Board must be a qualified voter and a resident of Juneau at least 30 days preceding the election.

District 1 covers West Juneau, Douglas, the west side of Egan Drive to Brotherhood Bridge and to Jordan Creek on the east side of Egan Drive and downtown excluding Thane Road. District 2 covers the Mendenhall Valley and the rest of the city.

Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at

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