Longtime Homer resident and commercial fisherman Louie Flora announced in a press release last week that he is running for the Alaska State House of Representatives as a non-partisan candidate for the new proposed District 6, which includes the southern Kenai Peninsula and all of the Kachemak Bay communities.
Flora filed his letter of intent to run with the Alaska Public Offices Commission on Jan. 18.
“The people of the Kenai Peninsula are talented, generous, and hard working,” Flora is quoted saying in the release. “We have always put politics aside when someone is in need because of our strong connection. We face unique challenges and opportunities in coastal Alaska, and we need representation that will bridge political gaps, tune out the political rhetoric, and get things done, not someone who is obstructing every policy put forward.”
Currently, Flora is a commercial fisherman with the Bristol Bay drift fleet and also serves as the Government Affairs Director with The Alaska Center, a nonprofit policy advocacy organization that focuses on salmon protection and alternative energy. He grew up in Homer and has served on the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors since 2021. He is also a member of the Kachemak Bay Campus Community Advisory Board.
This is not Flora’s first time working with the Alaska Legislature. From 2004 to 2014, Flora served as a legislative staff member of Rep. Paul Seaton’s office, which represented Homer, Anchor Point, Seward, Seldovia, Cooper Landing and other communities. During that time, he was an aide to the House Resources Committee, House State Affairs Committee, House Education Committee and the House Fisheries Committee.
“I have seen effectiveness of representation over the years and how communication should work between a legislator and their district. I believe it is critical that our district has a real seat at the table,” Flora wrote in an email to Homer News. “Because a majority of the State Legislature represents urban districts, or fast growing population districts like the Mat-Su, coastal and rural districts really need to stick together and make their voices heard.
“Historically, representatives from our district have held powerful and influential positions in the House … and that has been good for this district,” he continued. “While we share many commonalities with our big city brethren we also have unique challenges and opportunities on the Lower Peninsula, and these issues need to be represented and communicated with clarity and strength.”
Flora is registered as a nonpartisan candidate, which he says is reflective of his own voter registration status and will help him better serve Alaska’s diverse population.
“I believe good representation can occur under both major party labels and under a non-partisan or unaffiliated designation,” Flora wrote. “… Like the majority of Alaskans, I enjoy the freedom of choosing a candidate based on the qualities they possess as an individual and the quality of their leadership skills, not the party they affiliate with.”
Under Alaska’s new voting system, Flora will run in the open August primary and, if he is one of the top-four finishers, advance to the general election. Voters choose one candidate in the primary and then can rank their top-four choices in the general election. Voters can rank from one to four choices, and do not have to rank all four.
Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, also has filed a letter of intent to run in the August primary, but she did not indicate which office she seeks. In the 2020 election, Vance was re-elected against challenger Kelly Cooper. According to Alaska Public Offices Commission online records, Cooper has not yet filed a letter of intent to run for office. A phone message to Cooper asking if she planned to run again was not returned by press time.
For more information about Flora’s campaign, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Sarah Knapp at email@example.com.