ANCHORAGE - Friday, the filing deadline passed for legislative candidates for this year's primary and general elections.
These elections will be the first under the new redistricting map, which is still pending approval from the U.S Department of Justice.
Due to redistricting, 59 of 60 legislative seats are up for grabs this year, the exception being Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau).
At least eight former legislators are attempting to return to the capitol and there are six potential match-ups among incumbents.
Most attention is likely to focus on the Senate, where a coalition of six Republicans and ten Democrats has been in charge despite an even split between parties. That coalition blocked Governor Sean Parnell's attempt to lower oil production taxes by up to $2 billion a year.
Friday, Martin Lindeke (D-Eagle River) filed to run against one of the minority Republicans, Fred Dyson.
State Republican Chair Randy Ruedrich has made breaking up the bipartisan coalition his top objective.
"Ten years ago, we had 14 Republican Senators pre that redistricting,” said Ruedrich. “We now have more Republicans in the state. And there are less Democrats. Therefore, I think logic says we should be able to elect Republicans."
"I think the public mood is really more for what the coalition has been doing, which is working together and not getting tied up into partisan bickering,” said Democratic Party Chair Don Gray. “I think that's both here at the local and state level, and nationally. People are tired of argumentation. They want results."
One of the key contests will be an incumbent’s match-up between John Coghill (R-North Pole) and Joe Thomas (D-Fairbanks).