Sullivan and Honeman Ready for Battle in Mayoral Election
With the city's next election less than two months away the fight for the mayor's seat is heating up.
Mayor Dan Sullivan has a familiar challenger – Assemblyman Paul Honeman.
It’s a war of words that has been going on for a few months, as both Sullivan and Honeman said it’s what they stand for that makes them the a better candidate to lead Anchorage.
Honeman is not mincing words. “The only thing we are similar on is the 'a' and 'n' in our last name,” said Honeman, a former police officer. “I'll stack my 25 years of service in the municipality against the current incumbent's 12 years.”
Sullivan hasn't said much about his opponent.
“I don't compare myself to my opponent,” said Sullivan. “I run for the office.”
He has mentioned his name and his candidacy in the past when talking about Honeman’s push to remove port director Governor Bill Sheffield who recently resigned. "I know Mr. Honeman, obviously sounding more like a candidate than an assemblyman,” said Sullivan in November. “With all due respect to Mr. Honeman he's not the person I will be taking personnel advice from anytime soon.”
Honeman has gone head to head with the mayor on issues like public safety, where he questioned his use of not bringing in more police and fire personnel until recently.
“Strangely on re-election eve, [he has] have police and fire academies after not having one since 2008,” said Honeman.
“It's not just a numbers game and how many officers you have – what's more important is how you deploy them,” said Sullivan.
Honeman is also attacking Sullivan’s use of city's finances, particularly in clearing streets and roads. He said it is unacceptable when the city is taking in more money than it spends.
“Appears that he doesn't care that he is taking in more money than he is spending, and [it] appears to be very intentional, and the answer is give the money back,” said Honeman. “If you don't intend to spend it, give it back.”
Sullivan has a different opinion.
“We have made no reductions in the snow removal budget,” said Sullivan. “In fact, in 2011 we spent two million dollars more in snow removal than the year before.”
It’s a stand on records, and leading the city in the future, both men will try to prove why they should be doing it.
“[We] got the city's financial health back in order, we've been leaders in energy and education, [and] crimes have been on the decline for two years,” said Sullivan.
“I believe we can do better, in fact I know that we must do better,” said Honeman.
The filing period for the mayor's job is still not over, as residents have until February 10.
Thus far ithe candidates are Sullivan, Honeman and Bruce Lemke, who has run for office, including for governor, in the past.