In Election Season, State Legislative Races Matter
Newly drawn districts mean changes for voters
ANCHORAGE - Election season is in full swing.
Aside from the presidential race, how many of us know this is a big year for state races?
A lot of people are passionate about the upcoming presidential election. We found for the most part, people don't even know what's going on, though, in their own back yard.
But the experts say it's the local issues we need to pay more attention to, because they and state and local lawmakers affect our day-to-day lives.
The state's legislative boundaries were redrawn by the Alaska Redistricting Board, which means 59 of the 60 seats will be up for grabs.
Larkin said this year: there will be a change in districts and the candidates who represent them. “…Government at the municipal level at the state level, the local level that has the biggest impact on people,” he said.
Based on the new boundaries, Larkin said Juneau, come January, could have a brand new look, particularly in three Anchorage senate races.
Incumbents like Senator Hollis French will be running for re-election for newly drawn areas.
Senator Bill Wielechowski is running for re-election in a newly drawn area that includes Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Larkin said military members have traditionally voted Republican.
And Senator Bettye Davis's district has been entirely East Anchorage – until now. That area now includes a big part of Eagle River.
“Eagle River is probably the most conservative part of the Anchorage municipal voting block, and so that's going to be a tougher road for her,” Larkin said.
Voters need to do their research before they vote especially this year, because the difference between who wins and who loses could come down to one vote.
Larkin says the average Alaskan probably won't pay close attention to the redistricting process, but he says there is no need to worry. Candidates know they are running for seats in new districts so they are walking around and introducing themselves and their ideas to new voters
The primary election will be held August 28 and the general election will be held November 6.