By Heidi Zemach for SCN
Seward resident’s comparatively small vote must be pretty important to the two State Senate candidates from south Anchorage, both of whom were here looking for votes within the past 24 hours, just days before the Nov 6 election. About 25-30 local Seward residents, among them several educators, showed up to a house party in Forest Acres for State Senate candidate Ron Devon Thursday night. He’s running as an Independent against Republican Incumbent Cathy Giessel for Senate District N. These are his last five days of campaigning in a vast new district that now includes Girdwood, Indian, East Anchorage Hillside, as well as Hope, Cooper Landing, Sterling and Nikiski. His campaign’s first television advertisement features former Republican state senator and GOP gubernatorial candidate Arliss Sturgulewski, and former Democratic state senator and Alaska Constitutional Delegate Vic Fisher. The campaign plans to run television ads on six different broadcast and cable stations in the final days.
“We are very hopeful,” said Katherine Pfeiffer, Devon’s campaign manager. It appears that the momentum for his candidacy has been steadily increasing as Election Day nears, she said. Giessel, a two-year senator, has an established record, and has also made her extreme conservative views known previously on issues such as funding for public education, and the Alaska Permanent Dividend Fund, she said. So attempts to look more moderate on some of the more controversial issues hasn’t worked, she said; “They are on tape.” When Giessel was elected before, no one really knew her views. “But now we know,” she said, echoing the campaign’s ending theme.
His campaign had received positive press in Alaska recently, Devon said. It was partly due to his opponent’s unwillingness be interviewed by the Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula radio and newspaper media lately, and to the recent cancellation of some public speaking engagements. When you refuse to answer questions, reporters don’t like it, and that’s reflected in the articles they write, he said. His wife Jeanne Devon, a writer, runs The Mudflats blog, so he probably knows about that first-hand.
Meanwhile, Giessel was in Seward today (Friday). At noon she attended the Seward Chamber of Commerce’s business luncheon, as she has already once or twice before during this campaign season. While there, she commented on the state-wide bond package, also on the ballot, and its importance to Alaska, saying it is a good time economically to get such bonds now, due to record low interest rates.
Giessel has hit Seward heavily throughout the campaign in a variety of ways, including knocking on doors and attending functions. She also held a meet the constituents party here a while back. Last week she held a poorly-attended, but vigorous town hall at Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Station. Before that Giessel, a nurse practitioner, and her husband volunteered at the Alaska Health Fair at AVTEC much of the day Saturday. Not long before that, Giessel attended all of Kenai Peninsula Borough Rep Sue McClure’s annual constituent meetings, from Lowell Point to Hope, and most communities in between. House Speaker Mike Chenault, R, Nikiski, who is running unopposed for the new house district seat, also went along to those meetings.