Wanamaker defeats District 2 opponents

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Randy Wanamaker largely attributes his victory in the District 2 Assembly race to door-to-door campaigning.

"I would estimate we went to 3,000 houses and talked to people, listened to them and encouraged them to tell us what was important to them and why," he said. "We went to every neighborhood in town."

An environmental assessor and chairman of the Goldbelt Inc. Board of Directors, Wanamaker said it was a positive campaign.

"I appreciate that the other candidates always were gracious and always stuck to the issues," he said.

According to unofficial results, Wanamaker gathered 2,558 votes or 45 percent of the total in the District 2 race for a seat held by John MacKinnon, who served his

allowed three terms. Clancy DeSmet, who works for the Alaska Coastal Management Program, came in second with 30 percent and 1,695 votes, followed by therapist and mediator Dixie Hood with 28 percent and 1,401 votes.

With campaigning out of the way, Wanamaker hopes to get up to speed on the Assembly's efforts to prevent a capital move, improve access to Juneau and balance efforts to improve a stagnating economy with quality of life issues, he said. He said he wants to see where the Assembly is, then offer ideas and suggestions.

"I know that I'm a team player," he said. "We need to listen actively to the community, act on the information we have and the opportunities we have. We have many opportunities, but we need to act on them."

Wanamaker also emphasized the need to improve the city's project review process.

"We need to listen, let them know they've been heard, but not be afraid to make decisions," he said. "We need to speed up the process so the projects can get a quick, fair and impartial review."

At age 27, DeSmet emphasized the need to get more people involved in local government. He was pleased with Tuesday's results and doesn't expect his age will be an issue in the future.

"I think I did extremely well, I think the numbers tell me that I have a future in politics, especially in this community, and I'm looking forward to the next try," he said.

DeSmet said the three candidates in the District 2 race set it apart, but a three-way race can go any way.

"It was an open seat and a fair fight," he said. "People really rallied around me ... it really makes you feel loved. I did really well for raising the least amount of money."

Hood said she thinks she divided the vote with DeSmet, but it was hard to know if a two-candidate race would have had a different result.

"It's hard to know if Randy had only one opponent if it would have turned out this way. But who knows? I think Randy worked really hard for this and earned it," she said.

Hood, too, said she may run again and will continue to be active in the community.

"I had fun, learned a lot and definitely felt energized by the whole experience," she said. "I think I would hope that the outcome of the election doesn't reflect a divided community. It seems as if the people who were elected were strong business-supported candidates and there was a concerted effort to bring that element back to the Assembly."

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