Election 2012: Republican Representative Charisse Millett v. Democrat Patti Higgins for House District 24
Former state Democratic Party chair takes on incumbent
ANCHORAGE - In South Anchorage, the former chair of the Alaska Democratic Party is taking on a Republican incumbent who has been on the outs with her party's majority caucus.
Two years ago, state Representatives Charisse Millett and Kyle Johansen walked out of the House Republican caucus' post-election organizational meeting, because Millett did not get the committee assignments she wanted.
That was part of what motivated Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins to resign her post this year and launch a bid against Millett.
"So showing up is a big part of it,” Higgins said. “Being part of an organized caucus is important. And standing up and asking hard questions. So for example, the $2 billion give-away the governor's proposing for the oil companies, I think it's a negotiation, and it's our job to be negotiating, not to just say, ‘oh, that's what you want? OK.’"
Millett says she has been effective in the House.
"You know, I’ve never been the head of the Democrat party. I’ve never personally attacked anybody. And so I have proven I can work across party lines, with Republicans and Democrats with no baggage, whatsoever."
As far as oil taxes go, Millett says there has to be a balanced partnership between the state and the industry.
"I think we have to be fair and look at the risks involved with drilling for oil in Alaska. And you know, the sweet, light crude is gone, and we're talking about heavy, viscous oil now, which is expensive, it's tough on the pipeline, it's going to be tough to extract, it's going to be tough to process."
On oil taxes, Pebble Mine, education and more, it's a longtime Democratic operative against a rogue Republican.
Representative Johansen of Ketchikan also is trying to retain his seat, running as an independent, but he faces both Republican Representative Peggy Wilson of Wrangell and a Democratic candidate.
To see the full unedited interview with Charisse Millett, click here.
To see the full unedited interview with Patti Higgins, click here.