ANCHORAGE - Diane Benson is the first Democrat to enter the race for lieutenant governor.
Benson, who twice ran unsuccessfully for Republican Don Young's congressional seat, says she'd focus on economic issues, violence against women and veterans' rights if elected. She said she sees the lieutenant governor's role as that of ambassador for the state.
Benson, 55, cited her experience, knowledge of issues and contacts made in her previous campaigns for Congress. She's been teaching courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage on women and social action and Native women surviving violence.
She says it was painful not to run against Young again, but it's tough to mount a congressional campaign do on a shoestring.
On the Republican side of the lietenant governor's race, Fairbanks Rep. Jay Ramras is running in the primary against Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell.