Homer chamber board head enters race for state House

Michael Daniel, a Republican, is challenging Alaska House Rep. Sarah Vance.

The head of the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors over the weekend entered the race for the southern Kenai Peninsula’s seat in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Michael Daniel, a Republican, on Sunday registered to run as a candidate for House District 6, which includes the communities of Homer, Seldovia, Ninilchik and Kasilof. That district has been represented by Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, since 2019. Vance filed a letter stating her intent to run for reelection in late September.

Daniel, a veteran of both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy, grew up in Anchorage and moved to Homer in 2018 after 20 years of military service. He told the Clarion on Friday that he would bring a “deep commitment to service” and “a proven track record of leadership” to the position if elected.

“One of the reasons that I’m running is because I believe in a district-first approach — putting the needs and priorities of the district at the forefront,” he said. “In the military, the mission becomes the priority. My goal is to leverage my diverse experiences from the military to chamber leadership and bring a fresh and collaborative approach to state-level representation.”

Among the issues Daniel said he’s already heard about from constituents include road and harbor improvements, health care accessibility, support for the southern peninsula’s fishing communities and positive tourism.

“I’m running with a steadfast commitment to staying focused on the district and avoiding the pitfalls of divisive politics and personal agendas,” he said. “I think we just sort of live in an era that’s kind of marked by a lot of polarization and my goal is to foster unity and prioritize the common interests that kind of bind all of our unique communities together.”

Candidates interested in running for state office in 2024 must file by 5 p.m. on June 1, 2024. The 2024 primary election will be held on Aug. 20 and the general election will be held on Nov. 5. More information about the 2024 election cycle can be found on the Alaska Division of Elections website at elections.alaska.gov.

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