Senate Minority Member Faces Challenger in Republican Primary
Cathy Giessel will face off against Kenai Peninsula School Board president
ALASKA - In South Anchorage and the northern Kenai Peninsula, the Republican primary pits a member of the Senate minority against a challenger who says he would have joined the controversial bipartisan majority.
Senator Cathy Giessel of South Anchorage chose not to join her six fellow Republicans who worked with 10 Democrats to run the Senate during the past two years.
"Despite being in the minority, I worked across party lines, and across coalition lines, and even across body lines, that is to say I worked with house members, as well, to get a couple of critical pieces of legislation passed."
Giessel touted unanimous passage of her bill for vaccinations for uninsured and underinsured children.
But her opponent in the Republican primary, Kenai Peninsula School Board President Joe Arness, says she would have been more effective in the majority.
"And we all know where things happen in the legislature is in those caucuses. It’s not on the floor. And so if you're not in the caucus, you're not part of the conversation. So I would have joined that. It’s just my nature."
The candidates appear to have few if any differences on issues.
But Giessel says Arness might not be up to the job of senator, given what she says is his minimal presence on the campaign trail.