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We Build Alaska

Switcheroo: Rep. McKay will challenge Sen. Claman, Mia Costello will run for House

Representative Tom McKay (R – Anchorage) is withdrawing from the House District 15 race in order to challenge Senator Matt Claman (D – Anchorage). Former Republican Senator Mia Costello will file to run for McKay’s House seat.

McKay, who was first elected in 2020, beat Democrat Denny Wells by just seven votes in 2022 after votes were retabulated using ranked choice voting. Wells is again running for the seat. Perennial candidate Dustin Darden has also filed to run for the seat as a Democrat.

Costello served in the House from 2011-2015 and the Senate from 2015-2023. Claman, then a representative, beat Costello in 2022 by nearly four points to win the Senate seat.

Redistricting paired Costello with former Senator Natasha von Imhof in 2022. While Costello did not represent what is now District 15 when she was in the Senate, she did represent the area when she was in the House.

Former Republican Representative Liz Vazquez also filed to challenge Claman. But with Costello now in the race Vazquez may consider running for the House District 16 seat instead. That seat is currently held by Representative Jennie Armstrong (D – Anchorage), who beat Vazquez in 2022 by more than 10 points.

But Armstrong is not seeking re-election. Democrat Carolyn Hall has filed for the seat and currently has no challengers.

The deadline to file to run for the Legislature is June 1 at 5 pm.

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13 days ago

It’s an interesting move by the GOP. Wells was going to have a pretty good advantage over McKay due to McKay’s support of the education funding veto. So, they replace him with the lady who’s job it was to ask him to support that veto. Costello is a very competent politician, but she has as much explaining to do as McKay himself has.