At a crowded event on Monday night in Wasilla, Representative Chris Kurka (R – Wasilla) announced Paul Hueper as his running mate. Kurka, a conservative pro-life Republican, announced his run for governor in late November.
Hueper and his wife Marilyn Hueper gained national attention last April when their home in Homer was mistakenly raided by the FBI. The FBI was searching for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D – California) laptop that was taken from her office during the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Although the Hueper’s were in D.C. on January 6, 2021, they say they never entered the Capitol. Marilyn Hueper resembled a woman caught on surveillance in the Capitol. However, it was later revealed the woman the FBI was looking for was in New York.
Joe Miller, who defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska) in the 2010 Republican primary but later lost to Murkowski in a historic write-in election, spoke at the event. Miller heavily criticized Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska), stating his administration is “morally bankrupt.” Miller spoke about COVID restrictions and election integrity, themes that were echoed by Kurka and Hueper.
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Hueper, 59, said he and his wife have lived in Alaska for 23 years and have three daughters. He spoke about the FBI raid of his home, describing it as “devastating.” In his speech, Hueper talked about what he referred to as “corrupt elections.” One of the main duties of lieutenant governor is overseeing elections. He also criticized Dunleavy for not delivering on his campaign promise to restore the dividend. After former Governor Bill Walker vetoed the dividend in 2016, the Supreme Court ruled the dividend is subject to legislative appropriation. Dunleavy ran on a full statutory dividend in 2018 but has been unable to get the Legislature to appropriate a statutory, or even a 50/50 dividend.
The Landmine was at the event and live streamed the entire thing. You can watch it here.
In 2020, voters approved a new voting system that moves to a single, open primary and ranked-choice general. The top four vote getters in the primary advance to the general election. Another result of the new election system is candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a ticket. Before, they ran in separate elections and were paired after the primary.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce recently announced he will also run for governor. Pierce’s entry marks the second elected Republican to challenge Dunleavy. Pierce has not yet announced a running mate. In late December, Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer (R – Alaska) announced he would not seek re-election. Dunleavy has not yet announced his running mate.
Democrat Les Gara filed to run for governor last summer, but has been unable to find a running mate. Former Governor Bill Walker also filed to run for governor last summer. He chose Heidi Drygas, who served as his labor commissioner, as his running mate. Libertarian Billy Toien and Republican Bruce Walden have also filed to run for governor. The deadline to file to run for office is June 1.