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Assembly candidate Mara Early is undoubtedly an excellent young woman. Despite her youth and limited experience, she might very well serve as an effective voice on the Assembly. I will not vote for her, however, because I consider Bob Doll to be far and away the best qualified candidate for the at-large Assembly seat. I deeply hope the presence of these two excellent people on ticket does not result in the election of the other candidate - a man who favors ejecting the Glory Hole from its downtown location, and who has made it clear he intends to represent business interests in Juneau, provided the ownership of the business is not too far out of line with the political views he brought with him to Juneau from North Carolina in 1996. (Read the summary of Mr. Summers' views and experience in the Juneau Empire of Sept. 25.)
According to reports, Mara Early was urged by former Assembly member Jim Powell, and presumably others, to drop out of the race in order that the progressive vote not be split. I don't understand the uproar about this matter.
It is obvious that Mara Early has every right to run in this election. It should be equally clear that Jim Powell and others have every right to urge her to withdraw, in the interest of what they think is best for the city.
Recent letters to the editor would suggest that Mara Early is some kind of fragile flower who might not be able to handle pressure. Let's keep in mind she is a grown woman. My guess is she is a strong, resilient woman. I don't know her personally but I do know Jim Powell, and know him to be a decent, honest, capable man who has served this community honorably and effectively for many years. Apparently he and others took their best shot at persuading Ms. Early to withdraw. They did not succeed. Time to move on.
I have no doubt Mara Early is a fine person. I look forward to voting for her someday, perhaps for mayor or even governor of Alaska. But before voting in the municipal election of Oct. 4, I urge a careful look at her qualifications and those of Bob Doll, as well as those of the other person in the race.