Mayoral Challenger Paul Honeman Hopes for Come-From-Behind Win
Said city needs a change in leadership
ANCHORAGE - Absentee voting has already begun, and next Tuesday the rest of anchorage voters will head to the polls. They'll choose from six men to be the next mayor of the city.
Incumbent Dan Sullivan and Assemblyman Paul Honeman appear to have the most support judging by a recent poll.
In a recent survey conducted by Dittman Research and Communications, 500 Anchorage voters were asked who they'd they vote for – Mayor Dan Sullivan came out in front with 56 percent of the vote.
But his closest opponent, Assemblyman Paul Honeman, who polled at 35 percent, isn't letting that get in the way of his campaigning.
“It's great; the energy is just building, we've got the enthusiasm… the support is just building and building," Honeman said.
In the final days of the campaign Honeman and his supporters are trying to reach as many voters as possible.
"A good part of me said we wish we had another month or so to capitalize and plug into the energy," Honeman said.
So what are some of the big issues Paul Honeman, who said he's neither a Democrat nor Republican, will tackle if elected?
Restoring confidence in the budget finances of the municipality is just one.
"This administration would like you to believe we are broke and we can't afford government and labor is expensive and can't afford the services that we're paying for,” Honeman said, “but in fact we really can."
He also said the school district's budget needs to be better managed, with a three to five year budget plan that includes the known costs.
"If you can say our student baseline for education, we know what labor is going to cost us, we know what the benefits typically cost, how much our food service program going to cost," Honeman said, “and then the only unknowns [are] going to be the costs of fuel – energy costs."
Honeman said the current administration is taxing people more money and not showing anything for it.
"27 and a half million dollars this administration's had, and 12 and a half percent increase since [Sullivan has] been the mayor, and yet we have more money in surplus that came at the expense of no services – less services – and programs, libraries shut down parks programs being eliminated, less police, less fire," Honeman said.
Honeman said he'll concentrate on maintaining the city's infrastructure but isn't opposed to new development.
"If we need to build roads or build infrastructure that will help business and help our residence to a better quality of life, let's do it. A lot of our opportunities will be seen in Girdwood, Eagle River Chugiak Birchwood area," Honeman said.
And the big talking point on next months ballot: Proposition 5, which, if passed, will give legal protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Does Honeman believe the commercials produced by the “Vote No” campaign – which many find offensive due to its cartoon depiction of a cross-dresser – should be pulled from the air?
"People have the right under the first amendment to say a lot of things,” Honeman said. “Do I personally believe so? Sure. But it's clearly up to the group which is supporting their message they have the right to say what they want to say."
Absentee voting has already begun with the official polling day next Tuesday.
On Friday’s broadcast we'll bring you an interview with Mayor Dan Sullivan speaking on some of the key issues leading up to election.