Business leader, political newcomer face off in House race

Wanamaker and Doll agree on many issues, but differ in levels of support

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The race for House District 4 pits a well-known local government and business leader against a passionate political newcomer.

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Republican Randy Wanamaker has served eight years on the Juneau Assembly, most recently as deputy mayor, and as chairman of Goldbelt, Juneau's urban Native corporation. Democrat Andrea Doll is making her first bid for elective office.

Both are seeking to represent Juneau from the Mendenhall Valley-based seat.

Also up for election is Democrat Beth Kerttula in House District 3, often called the "downtown" seat. She is unopposed for election to a fifth term.

Wanamaker and Doll are trying to differentiate themselves with their campaigns and resumes, but they appear to agree on several key issues.

"It boils down to what type of person is going to be most effective for Juneau," Wanamaker said. "I think that type of person is a person with real experience in the legislative process, in the business world, in nonprofit management and working in the community."

Doll said she's been heavily involved in volunteer activities in the community, and that will guide her legislative agenda, promoting issues related to children and seniors.

"This is gut for me, putting people first. It just is," she said.

While Doll and Wanamaker have similar views on many issues, they also have emphasized different priorities and different levels of support for local projects.

KENSINGTON

Both support the Kensington gold mine. Doll said she was persuaded by the company that it was good for Juneau and not damaging to the environment.

"They've tried very hard to protect the environment," she said. "I do believe we need to use our resources that have been given us."

Wanamaker has worked for Kensington, and says the big mine project is vital for Juneau's economy.

"It's the only project of any magnitude that offers steady, long-term employment," he said.

Kensington will provide a much-needed $16 million payroll when it is running, he said.

"It's hard to overstate the importance of having a large payroll that is not government dependent," he said.

Ethics

Doll said she felt offended when the FBI raided the Alaska Capitol last summer, searching the offices of six legislators including Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau, who now holds the seat she's seeking.

She said she would oppose anyone who didn't take corruption seriously.

Wanamaker pointed out that no charges have been filed in the FBI investigation.

"I think it is too soon to judge," he said. Ethics rules may need to be clarified, to keep legislators from accidentally violating them, he said.

"When people don't understand something is when they are more likely to run afoul," he said.

Wanamaker said he had no plans to propose ethics legislation.

Longevity bonus

Both Doll and Wanamaker oppose the Legislature's cancellation of the longevity bonus that went to older Alaskans.

Doll said she would work to reinstate it if elected.

Wanamaker said that while he opposed the cancellation, he would rather replace it with a program that would accomplish much the same thing for needy seniors but would cost less.

"We have to look at what is affordable," he said

Doll said she thought the longevity bonus should go to everyone who qualified.

"It might keep people in Juneau, where they will support our community," she said.

Randy Wanamaker

• Seat: House District 4.

• Party: Republican.

• Spouse: Karen Doxey.

• Occupation: Geologist; executive director, BBC Human Resources Development.

• Age: 62.

• Education: Bachelor's degree, California State University at Hayward.

Beth Kerttula

• Seat: House District 3.

• Party: Democrat.

• Spouse: Jim Powell.

• Occupation: Oil and gas attorney.

• Age: 50.

• Education: Bachelor's degree Standford University; law degree, University of Santa Clara.

Andrea Doll

• Seat: House District 4.

• Party: Democrat.

• Spouse: Bob Doll.

• Age: 66.

• Occupation: Retired teacher.

• Education: Bachelor's degree, University of California at Santa Barbara; master's degree, University of Maryland; teaching credential, San Diego State University.

The road

Both support the Juneau access road, Wanamaker with a passion.

"If Juneau does not support access to the capital, we hand the people who want to move the capital the gift of being able to say Juneau does not support access," he said.

Having better access would reduce shipping costs and boost Juneau's economy as well, he said.

Wanamaker said he believed a wide majority, a "silent majority," he called it, has come to support the road.

Doll, too, supported the idea.

"I will support the road, that is a definitive position, but the people of Juneau deserve something better than having a road that ends in a ferry terminal," she said.

Doll said she had concerns about how those without cars would get to the ferry, but she said, "I will be there if we need to fight for it" in the Legislature.

The majority

It is important for Juneau to have a voice in the majority, and Republicans are certain to control the House of Representatives in the next session, Wanamaker said.

"Majority members introduce legislation and funding requests that have a real chance at being adopted," he said.

Doll said legislative Republicans have destroyed the ferry system, increased secrecy, tried to move the capital, ended the longevity bonus, rolled back Denali KidCare - a health insurance program for children, teenagers and pregnant women - and shouldn't be given more power.

"If the majority has done some things that are despicable, why would they want to bring them back?" she said. "I'd be part of a strong Democratic team coming from Juneau," she said.

The candidate's husband Bob Doll, who serves on the Assembly with Wanamaker, ran unsuccessfully for the seat two years ago.



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