ANCHORAGE - There's an open seat in the state House of Representatives for the neighborhoods of Airport Heights, Russian Jack and Mountain View.
The two Democratic candidates vying in the August 28 primary offer a strong contrast in background.
Geran Tarr, a former legislative aide, is 36.
Cal Williams, a veteran of numerous community organizations, is 70.
They share an enthusiasm for the area they live in.
Tarr, former chief of staff to Senator Johnny Ellis, said she's ready to be a legislator.
"I understand how things work in Juneau, I know the process, I feel like I could go down to Juneau and hit the ground running, and I think at this time that's really important because there are a lot of big decisions to be made, and a lot of issues that have been ongoing."
Fellow Democrat Cal Williams said his temperament is appropriate for a constituency that includes dozens of ethnicities.
"This district as it opened up was crying out and begging for my type of - I don't like to say leadership - but at least my sensitivity to varying people - people of all races, all ages, of all economic backgrounds, and I relate well with them, and they with me, obviously. So I think I'm a perfect fit."
Tarr is president of the Airport Heights Community Council and works for the Anchorage Parks Foundation.
She said her age is an asset.
"Time and time again people say they're excited about my candidacy because they like to see young people getting involved and that we need some new energy and new ideas."
Williams, now retired at 70, but still vice president of the Anchorage chapter of the NAACP, said his strength is compassion for the underdog in an area with wide economic disparities.
"We've got people living in nice homes, and we've got people sleeping in cars. I understand, I walk with and can work with all of those people."
The candidates differ on abortion.
"He's anti-choice,” Tarr said. “So that's something he's been pretty vocal about. And we tend to be a district that supports women's rights and access to reproductive health care."
Williams, a Catholic, said he’s glad his mother didn’t abort him when she was 14.
But he said he wouldn’t be going to Juneau to legislate that issue.
"And you sign and swear that you'll uphold the Constitution. That's what I’ll do. I don't impose my morals on others."
In three weeks, Democratic voters in House District 17 get to choose.
The incumbent legislator in the district, Democrat Sharon Cissna, is running for Congress.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Cean Stevens in November.
Williams said it's possible he might serve only one term.
But Tarr said based on her experience it takes four to six years to get a bill passed.