The candidate filing period for people interested in running for seats open in the Oct. 5 municipal election closed Monday, Aug. 16. Multiple seats will be up for grabs on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly
Three borough districts will be on the Oct. 5 ballot this year: District 1 – Kalifornsky; District 6 – East Peninsula; and District 9 – South Peninsula. The only person running for the Kalifornsky seat is Brent Hibbert, who currently holds the seat and serves as assembly president. Kenn Carpenter, who currently holds the East Peninsula seat, will run against Cindy Ecklund. Ashton Callahan, Dawson Slaughter and Mike Tupper are all vying for assembly’s South Peninsula seat, which is currently held by Willy Dunne.
Callahan is a former commercial salmon fisherman and full-time general contractor in the Homer area. He is a high school graduate who is developing a homestead with his wife, Amanda, and their three children in Fritz Creek. In seeking a seat on the assembly, Callahan said he hopes to focus on prioritizing economic stability and decreasing property tax burdens, among other things.
Carpenter currently holds the assembly’s East Peninsula seat and has served on the assembly for five years, including as chair of the assembly’s lands committee. He works for the State of Alaska at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center and lives in Seward with his wife, Linda. In pursuing a seat on the council, Carpenter says he hopes to support responsible funding for borough education, roads, Central Peninsula Hospital and economic development.
Ecklund is a retired teacher who has lived in Seward since 1979. She holds an associate arts degree in humanities and has more than 30 years of experience working in Kenai Peninsula Borough schools. Ecklund currently serves on the borough planning commission and on the City of Seward’s planning and zoning commission.
Hibbert currently holds the assembly’s Kalifornsky seat and serves as assembly president. He is the owner and president of Alaska Cab, Inc. and owns The Brew coffee shop. He has represented Kalifornsky on the assembly since 2017 and served as chair of the assembly finance committee from 2017 to 2019. Hibbert will run unopposed for reelection in October.
Slaughter lives in Anchor Point and is a business owner currently working toward receiving a real estate license. He has also served on the Anchor Point Fire and EMS Service Board for the last six years and cited experience with the borough’s budget process in his statement of candidacy. Slaughter describes himself as a “conservative” who wants to put people ahead of political parties.
Tupper lives in Anchor Point and formerly served as a medic with the U.S. Army, as part of which he did a tour in Iraq in 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage and currently works at South Peninsula Hospital. In seeking a seat on the council, Tupper said he believes in a strong local community.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education
Three seats on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education will be up for grabs this fall in Kenai, Sterling/Funny River and Homer. Matt Morse will run unopposed for reelection to Kenai’s seat. Benjamin Miller and Jennifer Waller will run against each other for the Sterling/Funny River seat. Britny Bradshaw and Tim Daugharty will run against each other for the Homer seat.
Bradshaw is a mom of four and has lived in Alaska since 2011. In seeking a seat on the school board, Bradshaw says she hopes to bring her passion for “health families and schools” by keeping the board’s focus on purposeful and positive education. She has experience volunteering in her kids’ classrooms, on the PTA and on booster clubs and works in reception at South Peninsula Hospital.
Daugharty is a dad of two and a former teacher with more than 30 years of classroom experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildland management and a Master of Arts in education leadership and said in his candidate statement that he will always be guided by what is best for students. In seeking a seat on the school board, Daugharty said he hopes to unify different groups and instill trust in the district.
Miller is a graduate of Homer High School and dad of two who works as a refinery operator at Marathon Petroleum. In seeking a seat on the school board, Miller cited his belief that the 2020-2021 school year was a “great disservice” to students. He describes himself as “fiscally conservative” with “traditional republican values” and said he would work to “preserve” parent choice in schools.
Morse has represented Kenai on the Board of Education since 2018 and is a business owner. He holds a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences and has three adult children. Morse emphasized the importance of fiscal responsibility in government. Morse will run unopposed for reelection in October.
Waller is a mom of three and works as the director of Freedom House in Soldotna. Waller described herself as a “team player” and said that in seeking a seat on the school board, she hopes to bring community feedback and concerns to meetings for discussion and consideration.
More information on each candidate can be found on the municipalities’ respective websites.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.