On Tuesday, Nov. 8, elections will be held for U.S. House and Senate, Alaska Legislature and the Alaska governor.
To help inform voters, the Homer News will introduce the southern peninsula 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 introduce the candidates.
For Senate District C, incumbent Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, is being challenged by Republicans Heath Smith of Homer and Anchor Point resident Walter Jones.
Gary Lee Stevens, 81, was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and moved to Alaska in 1970. He currently resides in Kodiak.
Contact Information: Ritstev@gci.net; aryStevensAlaska.com
Education: Linfield College, B.A. 1959; University of Oregon, M.F.A. 1961; University of California at Los Angeles, 1962, classes towards Ph.D.; University of Oregon, Ph.D. 1982; Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Leadership Certificate 2006 and 2018
Current Occupation: Alaska State Senator 2002-2022
Previous occupations or businesses: Professor of History and Humanities, University of Alaska; President, Happy Clam Seafood; General Manager, Northern Processors, Inc.; United States Army, Army Intelligence Officer, Army Commendation Medal, President Regimental Honor Council
Other Professional Experience: Alaska Senate: President, Rules Chair, Majority Leader, Chairman Legislative Council, 14 years in leadership; Professor, Lane Community College, Eugene Oregon; Teaching Assistant, University of Oregon; Staff Director, University of Southern California Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts
Elected or appointed experience: National Chairman, Council of State Governments, Lexington, Kentucky; District Governor, Rotary International; Mayor Kodiak Island Borough; President Kodiak Island School Board; Mayor City of Kodiak; Commissioner Education Commission of the States; Board Member: Alaska Seafood Marketing Association, Alaska Rocket Launch, Alaska Historical Society, Alaska Humanities Forum
Community Service: Rotary Club; American Legion; Elks Club
Hobbies or interests: Playwriting, reading, painting, historical research, genealogy
“I believe in service to Alaska. The Legislature is a rewarding and humbling experience. I have provided leadership as Senate President, Rules Chair, Majority Leader, and Legislative Council Chair. I have written many laws now in effect. I had 8 bills pass this year alone, more than any other legislator. SB33 provides tax relief for processors raising the value of seafood for all. SB20 shortens the time for certificated out of state teachers to begin work. SB34 begins the process of State-Tribal Compact Schools. Legislation I would like to continue working on includes providing high school students statewide with dual credit college level classes, my civics education bill insuring that every Alaskan student becomes a knowledgeable citizen and requiring the University to report accreditation status. I have been responsible for budgetary issues affecting every community in my district, including the Homer large boat harbor. I bring common sense and experience to the legislature after thirteen years as a local elected official on the school board, assembly, and council. My goals are to fund our budget including education, protect the permanent fund, provide a dividend, and avoid an income tax. Experience and seniority allow me to better serve you.”