Municipal elections will be held Oct. 5.

Borough Assembly candidates share their point of view

  • Staff reports
  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 1:30am
  • News

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council, Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 9 and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education District 8. To help inform voters, the Homer News will introduce the candidates, show their answers to a group of questions and give them an opportunity to make their pitch on why you should elect them. This week, we share point of views from the candidates.

Absentee in person voting is now open at the Homer City Clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Election Day is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Borough Assembly, District 9

With Assembly member Willy Dunne no longer able to run for re-election because of term limits, the District 9 seat is up for grabs. That area generally covers the district around the city of Homer and Kachemak City, including Anchor Point, Diamond Ridge, Fritz Creek, Fox River, Seldovia, Nanwalek and Port Graham.

The candidates are:

Ashton Callahan

Dawson Slaughter

Mike Tupper

Ashton Callahan

Dear southern peninsula residents, I appeal to you today as one of you. I am a hard working productive member of this community and the farthest thing from a politicalian. I am fully invested to this community and it’s prosperity by raising my family on our homestead and conducting all of my business here. I have no outside interests. I will strive to see that sustainable practices apply to our land, budgets and economy. Bottom line what ever the future holds in both taxes and budgets the important thing is it has to remain sustainable long term and the the residents need their voices heard to determine that process. I wish to incubate taxing structure that incentives productivity, responsibility and conservancy. All of our services, education, healthcare, emergency services etc are extremely important to the community and as a general contractor my job is to budget more than build and I know how to stretch dollars farther and eliminate waste which will help all of our services to operate in a higher capacity. I want to establish more locally sourced grown and raised food for both security and environmental impact. I will strengthen private property rights. At the end of the day any action I take will be to uphold constitutional integrity and my responsibility as a representative to the southern peninsula residents and this community. Thank you for your consideration.

Dawson Slaughter

Hello neighbors and friends of District 9.

My name is Dawson Slaughter. I’m lifelong Alaskan. My wife Krizzie and I have a 5year old daughter, Kadence, that attends Chapman Elementary in Anchor Point. We know how important schools are to keep our community thriving. I’m a small business owner, Notary Public for Alaska, and I’m a first responder EMT/ Firefighter. For many years I have been on the Anchor Point Fire and EMS ( now Western Emergency) Service Area Board, and the advisory planning commission. I have been through budget processes with the borough and know the difficulties we face. As a leader on those boards I’m able to work with people of different backgrounds to come to solutions. We are faced with hard times ahead due to this pandemic and we have to be careful going forward. Holding our representatives accountable is a must. Let’s put aside political parties and put the people first. As a borough, we are responsible for providing key essential services. As well as land issues. We need to have someone who understands that and will work for you, the people. My lines of communication will always be open and I’m willing to listen. I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I am able to look at the facts to come to reasonable solutions that will benefit us all. Let’s work together to make our communities and borough prosperous. Without your continued input how will your representatives know what your community needs? As your representative I will make sure that we meet and are able to communicate especially in the remote villages.

Come October, I ask for your support in allowing me the privilege to represent you and your ideas on the assembly. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Regardless who you decide to vote for I ask that you do just that, vote! Get your friends, neighbors and family out and vote.

“We in America do not have a government by majority, we have government by the majority who participate” Thomas Jefferson

Mike Tupper

Why did I invite the controlled chaos of running for office into my life? I am worried. We are being convinced that our neighbors are an existential threat which increases our fear, division and animosity. If that threat is true, I can’t see a path forward. Pause and think for a moment who is to gain through division. Media outlets and social media platforms rely on advertisement revenue to keep the lights on. They have a vested interest in keeping people apart to keep the ratings up. Politicians have similar incentive structures for maintaining power, influence and often money. Our public discourse in America is being corrupted by misaligned incentives promoting escalating division and hate. It makes me sick but there are solutions. Here are a couple ways I plan to approach non-partisan local politics using tools and values I have learned.

When we argue or debate a point, the expectation is for each side to present evidence of their rightness. The natural reaction most brains take to this tactic is defensiveness. We are wired to protect our sense of self and defend our beliefs. Instead, we must rediscover a sense of curiosity. Start by listening with the intent to understand. We can’t just wait for our turn to talk and expect results. Someone has to make the first step and get curious. It can be you. If your belief can’t withstand a little curiosity, maybe your position wasn’t that strong.

Curiosity takes humility; at least enough humility to accept you might not be right. Or better yet, you might not be all the way right. I am reminded of the parable of the blind monks describing an elephant. No one monk has the whole picture. They are all correct and also wrong about the big picture. This happens with political debates all the time. One side is arguing about the trunk while the other is focused on the ear. No one will ever reconcile because they aren’t even talking about the same thing. Even when it is the same elephant. If we approach disagreements with humility, we are open to new information. New information is essential to refine, strengthen and add nuance to our own understanding and beliefs.

The last bit may be the most important. We have to commit to integrity. Our internal belief structures and rules must remain consistent. Your standards can’t shift depending on who they are applied to or even to what outcome they lead. Without this internal consistency you can’t be trusted to act in good faith. Strive for consistency in how you evaluate information.

Our path to greater division and fear is scary. I can feel it infecting how we deal with each other our family, friends, and neighbors. I am running for borough assembly to try to be part of the solution. That is all any of us can do and we have to remember we are in this together. Let’s continue this great democratic experiment, please vote October, 5th.

Dawson Slaughter

Dawson Slaughter

Mike Tupper

Mike Tupper

Ashton Callahan. (Photo provided)

Ashton Callahan. (Photo provided)

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