Daniel withdraws, Slaughter’s in for House District 6 race

A torch is being passed in the race to represent the southern Kenai Peninsula in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Michael Daniel, who last month entered the race alongside incumbent Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, announced that he was dropping out. Daniel, also a Republican, on the same day endorsed candidate Dawson Slaughter, who filed to run for the seat also on Wednesday and had previously worked on Daniel’s campaign.

Daniel in a campaign statement provided to the Clarion on Wednesday last week attributed his decision to withdraw from the race to a personal health issue.

“Our campaign for the House seat was progressing and gaining recognition in our community,” Daniel said. “Unfortunately a personal medical issue has led to my decision to withdraw from the race. So many people have supported and encouraged my campaign; and I say thank you to all of them.”

In endorsing Slaughter, Daniel described him as “a key member” of his campaign team.

“Dawson, a great community leader, good friend and team member will Represent our district with compassion and integrity,” Daniel said. “Over the years Dawson has been a strong supporter of all residents of the District 6 community.”

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Slaughter is described as an “Anchor Point businessman” who currently serves as president of the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce and as a member of other local organizations. Slaughter in 2021 received 20% of votes in a bid for a seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly that ultimately went to Mike Tupper.

“It is an honor to run for the District 6 House seat,” Dawson is quoted as saying in the release. “I look forward to your support and I commit to making the residents of House District 6 my number one priority in the State House.”

More than one of the seats representing part of the Kenai Peninsula in the Alaska Legislature is facing a contested race this election cycle.

Republican Ben Carpenter, who currently represents the northern Kenai Peninsula in the Alaska House, has filed to run against incumbent Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, for a seat in the Alaska Senate. Soldotna resident Andy Cizek is also challenging Bjorkman for the seat.

Running for Carpenter’s seat are Ridgeway resident John Hillyer and Bill Elam, who currently represents Sterling and Funny River on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Incumbent Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, is currently running unopposed for reelection in District 7, which includes Kenai and Soldotna.

The deadline for candidates interested in running for state office in 2024 is Saturday, June 1 at 5 p.m. More information about upcoming state elections can be found on the Alaska Division of Elections website at elections.alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.