With Bill Stoltze gone, his open senate seat has created the perfect vacuum for four competent women in his district: Rep. Shelley Hughes, Rep. Cathy Tilton, Palmer Mayor DeLena Johnson, or Anchorage Assemblywoman Amy Demboski.
Shelley has wasted no time; she filed for Bill’s old senate seat today, April 5, 2016.
Amy just won her Assembly re-election and has endorsed Shelley, so she won’t run for Bill’s seat. Cathy, in her first term, would do well to solidify her leadership in the House by remaining in her seat. That leaves DeLena, whose mayoral term ends this October, to consider a second run at this senate seat (she lost to Stoltze in 2012).
So, we have a potential cat race here.
I hate to recall that infamous primary summer of 1990, when two incredibly competent Republican legislators faced off, Jan Faiks and Virginia Collins. We sweated through a hot and brawling election season between two powerful conservative women. We weren’t able to vote for both, though we wanted to.
This summer is starting early. And it could be hot, too. And the same dilemma sunshine that glinted our vision back then could crack through our election windshields this year, if we have to choose between a couple of favorite conservative woman for which to vote.
Another option might exist for DeLena: Shelley’s now open house seat. Everyone else, hold on to your seats. Otherwise, the District F constituents will be holding on to their seats for the long and winding summer drive ahead.
Eugene Harnett, APEonline Editor