Five Ketchikan residents seek appointment

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2003

In addition to Wrangell Rep. Peggy Wilson, five Ketchikan residents are interested in the seat:

• Colleen Scanlon, 41, is co-president of the First City Republican Women's Club in Ketchikan. She also has served as a board member for the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce from 1998 to 2002 and as a board member for the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau since January.

In April, she was appointed by Gov. Frank Murkowski to the Alaska Labor Relations Board.

Scanlon has not held public office but ran for Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly in 2002, losing by only 12 votes.

"That's one of the reasons I decided to run for (Taylor's) seat," Scanlon said, noting that losing the Assembly race by such a small margin shows she has support in the community. "I think I can be re-elected to the position in 2004."

• Jim Elkins, 66, of Ketchikan, has served as a lobbyist for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, the city of Valdez and the Alaska Cabaret Hotel Restaurant and Retailers Association.

Elkins also has worked on campaigns for U.S. Rep. Don Young and U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, Gov. Frank Murkowski and Sen. Taylor, he said.

Elkins served six years on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly in the 1980s and 1990s.

"The bottom line is I think I've got more experience than most people running," he said. "If I win the appointment, I'll immediately start campaigning for re-election."

• Dick Burton, 70, is finishing his first three-year term on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly. His position is up for re-election this year.

Burton, a former state trooper, served as commissioner for the Department of Public Safety for four years under Gov. Jay Hammond and another four under Gov. Walter Hickel.

"I think I am as well qualified or better qualified than most people," Burton said. "I know I can do the job."

Burton said he suspects his age may play a role in whether he is chosen for the appointment, noting: "I wouldn't want to make a 20-year career out of it."

• Maggie Sarber, 59, works as a pharmacist and is completing her second term on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly.

"I certainly have the experience (to fill the position)," Sarber said. "I have knowledge of a great many people in the area, their concerns and their problems.

"I feel I'm pretty well-balanced and reasonable," she said, describing herself as "pretty conservative."

Sarber also has served two terms on the Ketchikan School Board, where she served one term as vice president.

• Jim Van Horn, 65, is serving his second term on the Ketchikan City Council. He also served one term on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly from 1996 to 1999.

In 1977, Van Horn retired as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Coast Guard and in 1982 began work as a correctional officer at the Ketchikan Correctional Center. He later was promoted to administrative manager of the prison before retiring in 1998.

Van Horn said he is heartened by the Murkowski administration's pursuit of opening more land in the Tongass National Forest to logging.

"We are facing some pretty tough times here like everybody else is," he said. "One of my main concerns is jobs. We need to bring an atmosphere where we get more people working."

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