Anchorage representative enters governor's race

Murkowski's silence keeps other Republicans from announcing runs

Posted: Friday, September 16, 2005

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage state Rep. Eric Croft is the second Democrat to announce his entry in the race for governor.

Croft and fellow Anchorage Democratic Rep. Ethan Berkowitz will contend for their party's nomination in an August 2006 primary.

Croft is an attorney who has represented Spenard in the state House of Representatives since 1997. His father, Chancy Croft, is a former state Senate president from Anchorage who ran for governor in 1978.

As governor, Croft said, he would fight what he calls decades of stalling by the major oil companies in developing natural gas reserves they lease from the state.

Croft said a "Republican strategy of begging and pleading" with the companies has not worked.

"I intend to take out a big stick and get this thing done," he said.

Croft also said he wants to amend the state constitution to forbid reducing the dividends for state programs without a public vote.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski's silence on whether he will run for re-election is keeping other potential Republican candidates out of the field.

Fairbanks Republican state Sen. Ralph Seekins said he would only consider running for governor if Murkowski bows out. John Binkley, a former legislator who is chairman of the Alaska Railroad board of directors, said the same.

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