Vote Tuesday in primary, special elections

Races on Southern Kenai Peninsula including three running for State Representative, State Senator.

In the midst of a contentious election for Alaska Governor and Lt. Governor, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representative, local state elections haven’t received as much attention. When voters head to the polls next Tuesday, Aug. 16, they’ll also be casting ballots for State Representative District 6 and State Senator District C.

Running for representative are Ginger Bryant, nonpartisan; Sarah L. Vance, Republican and the incumbent, and Louis A. “Louie” Flora, nonpartisan.

Running for senator are Gary Stevens, Republican and the incumbent; Walter H. Jones, Republican, and Heath Smith, Republican. Of the three Republicans, the House District 6 Republicans have endorsed Smith, as did the Republican Party at its July state convention, District 6 Republican Party Chairman George Hall wrote in an email.

In the new open primary, voters choose only one candidate from the list. The top-four candidates advance to the general and ranked-choice election. Because both the local house and senate races have three candidates each, all will advance to the general election.

Here are descriptions of the candidates, as based on the official state pamphlet.

State Representative District 6

Ginger Bryant, nonpartisan, Homer; Website: GingerBryantForAlaska.Org. Age: 59; Occupation: Conflict Resolution Practitioner, Station Twelve; Length of Residency in Alaska: 19 years; Alaskan Communities Lived in: Homer 2003-Present; Education: Columbine High School; Associate degree, Sign Language Interpreting; Bachelor degree, Conflict Resolution, Baker Peace Institute /Juniata College; Business and Professional Positions: Conflict Resolution Practitioner Station Twelve.

Other: Starting my 20th year in South Central Alaska, 15 of those I lived in a dry cabin. I understand what it takes to live a simple, yet abundant Alaskan life. My values: Honesty, Integrity, Inherent Dignity of all People, Peace, Good Stewardship of Resources, Simplicity and Truth.

As a Conflict Resolution Practitioner, Team Building, Communication and Community Strengthening have been my focus for 30 years. I have the skills and talent required to be an effective legislator. I am an expert at building coalitions and focusing groups on completing projects. As a mediator I can dovetail ideas helping groups achieve their best collective outcome.

Position Statement

Here on the Kenai Peninsula, we have a lifestyle others can only imagine; both the beauty of the summer and the brutality of the winter. I am Alaskan by choice, this community has sustained and helped me cultivate an abundant life for twenty years. “To those to whom much is given, much is expected”. I understand it is now my responsibility to help ensure those who come behind me have the same: Liberty, Rights, Justice, Privacy and Resources; South Central Alaska and America gave me.

I personally bring to the table a degree and thirty years of experience in Conflict Resolution.

I believe Alaskan Privacy is the cornerstone of our Community Culture and is Sacrosanct.

I believe that everyone has a place in our Alaskan Circle and I Trust Our Circle.

We Alaskans can handle our own decisions regarding: Who we Love, Who we Create, How we Care for our Health, Who gets access to our Personal Information, How we Protect ourselves, and ultimately how we choose to Die, when it is our natural turn … We should never have to reveal or explain any of the tender decision we make at “2 am”.

I believe Alaska’s resources should benefit Alaskans first and foremost. Living at the end of a Peninsula we are aware our environment can cut us off from the rest of the world at any moment. Investing in our communities’ ability to be self-sufficient is a priority for me.

Sarah L. Vance, Republican, Homer

email:; Website:

It is my pleasure serving you and making your voice heard in the Legislature! My husband, Jeff, and I are raising our four children in Homer, just around the corner from where I grew up. In fact, my parents are integral to our family life and have taken up homeschooling the children while I serve you at the Capital. Their positive influence in our life keeps us grounded and full of love.

Louis A. “Louie” Flora, nonpartisan, Homer

Email:; Website:; Age: 46; Place of Birth: Fairbanks; Spouse: Sarah; Children: Sidney, Rocco; Occupation: Commercial Fisherman; Length of Residency in Alaska: 46 years; Alaskan Communities Lived in: Nenana, 1976-1978; Homer 1978-Present; Education: Homer High School 1994; Community College and University Courses; U.S. Coast Guard 100-Ton Masters and Able Seaman training; Political and Government Positions: Committee staff, Alaska State Legislature 2005 – 2014; Business and Professional Positions: Captain/Owner Bristol Bay drift gillnet boat/permit; crewmember commercial halibut, scallop, crab, and cod fisheries; staff, Alaska State Legislature; Government Affairs Director nonprofit organization; Service Organization Memberships: Homer Electric Association Board of Directors, Kachemak Bay Campus; Community Advisory Board, Bristol Bay Fisherman’s Association member, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association member, North Pacific Fisheries Association member, Kachemak Ski Club volunteer, Ducks Unlimited member.

Special Interests: skiing, boating, snow machining, fishing, cooking

Position statement: I am running for the State House because I believe the youth of Alaska deserve to inherit the state envisioned by the elders of Alaska: a thriving one bolstered by a strong and growing Permanent Fund.

The Alaska State Legislature has a crucial role in bringing economic stability to Alaska. Construction projects flowing from a robust capital budget employs thousands of workers. Laws that provide incentives for certain economic activities can and should drive all kinds of innovation in many different fields from energy production to local manufacturing.

I don’t believe that government alone can solve our problems. Crime, Homelessness, addiction, child abuse – these are “All hands-on deck” issues that a demand a broad coalition: Faith communities, civic organizations, Native corporations, Tribes, local government and state government working together can create lasting solutions to our numerous ills. I believe that Alaskans can do anything we set out to do, and do it with ingenuity, independence, and integrity.

We shouldn’t spin our wheels on issues that divide when there is so much potential ahead for us as an energy and fish rich state. We have Roads, Ports, Hydroelectric projects, Schools, Bridges, Energy production and more to get to work on.

If elected I will focus on your local needs, growing your Permanent Fund and protecting our communities and precious salmon runs. I appreciate that you have taken the time to research candidates and would be honored by your vote.

State Senator District C

Gary Stevens, Republican, Kodiak

Email: Now in his 22nd year in the legislature, Sen. Gary Stevens was President of the Senate for 4 years and currently chairs the Senate Rules Committee and the Special Committee on World Trade.

Senator Stevens earned his PhD from the University of Oregon and was a Full Tenured Professor of History and Humanities at the University of Alaska for 25 years. He served the United States as an Army Intelligence officer and spent 13 years in local government as Mayor of the City of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough and President of the Kodiak School Board. Gary and Rita Stevens are parents to 3 children and grandparents to 2 children. He was born in McMinnville, Oregon and has lived in Alaska for over 50 years.

Position statement: We must protect the Permanent Fund for our children and grandchildren. We cannot selfishly let it disappear with our generation. Currently, the fiscal future of Alaska is uncertain. Oil revenues have temporarily increased but will decline due to aging fields, the economy, and the pandemic. Oil and gas provided more than 90% of state revenues in 2011, now only 17%. From 90 to 17. Shocking! We are facing unprecedented choices. The Federal Government can print money to balance its budget. We are required to have a balanced budget where revenues equal expense. Over the last several years we have drained our savings accounts. They are only slowly now recovering.

This year is financially the hardest many have ever experienced. We must continue to reduce programs and let the Permanent Fund grow so it will not only support dividends but also offset declines in revenue. Our Permanent fund has historically returned 8.79%. Remarkable! That is the magic of compound interest. It would be an economic mistake of historic proportions for us to overdraw the Permanent Fund. If it continues to grow it will benefit Alaskans in perpetuity. A fixed POMV of 5% is reasonable and can go a long way to fund dividends and core services.

Everything must be on the table this year, cutting the budget, protecting the Permanent Fund, providing a Dividend all the while avoiding an income or sales tax. This affects you directly and every Alaskan must be in on the discussion. I am listening.

Walter H. Jones, Republican, Anchor Point

Mailing Address: P. O. Box 51, Anchor Point, Alaska 99556; Email:; Website:; Age: 56; Place of Birth: Ashland, Pennsylvania; Spouse’s Name: Ruth; Children’s Name: Aeon; Occupation: Long Haul Truck Driver; Length of Residency in Alaska: 32 years; Alaskan Communities Lived in: Fairbanks 1990-1996, North Pole 1996-1997, Anchorage 1997-2003, Wasilla 2003-2016, Moose Pass 2016, Hope 2016-17, Anchor Point 2017-Present; Education: Shamokin High, Northumberland County Vo-Tech; Military Service: U.S .Army Infantry/ Military Police, 18 years total; Business and Professional Positions: Owner/Operator Truckdriver; Service Organization Membership: American Legion Post 18; Special Interests: Fishing/Hunting/Gold Panning

Position statement: I Walter Jones; An Alaska first candidate, am running to unseat the career rhino politician Gary Stevens whom votes against everything Alaska stands for. My time as State Senator for District C, I pledge too constantly fight for the statutory full PFD with back pay. The return of the 3 million plus dollars Walker has stolen from Alaskans. Initiate an investigation into the 2020 voter fraud, return to paper ballots, in-person voting with proper ID, eliminate voting machines and rank choice voting. Push for voting day to be recognized as a state holiday. The power needs to be returned to the people, not politicians with special interest groups. The over 8,000 plus non-profits need to be audited in order to lower the fiscal budget. Implement tax breaks for Alaskan owned small businesses. I will continue to work with the Alaskan commercial fisherman and install solutions to bottom trawling to insure future sustainability. When I take office, I intend on making CRT and inappropriate material being forced onto our children, ILLEGAL. As a firm believer in pro-life, every child needs our protection as well as the unborn. The US Constitution, which includes the 2nd Amendment rights, will not be infringed upon and protected.

Heath Smith, Republican, Homer

Email:; Website:; Place of Birth: Anchorage, Alaska; Spouse’s Name: Tara; Children’s Name(s): Myra, Elsie, Lilly, Kian, Caitlin, Byron; Occupation: Full-time service provider, United Parcel Service (UPS) 25 years; Length of Residency in Alaska: 57 years; Alaskan Communities Lived in: Anchorage 1965-73, Fairbanks 1973-74, Homer 1974-present; Education: Homer High School, Northern Arizona University, Brigham Young University, BA International Relations and Affairs; Political and Government Positions: Homer City Council 2015-21; Service Organization(s) Membership: Elks

Other (Biographical Information):

Born and raised here in Alaska I have a full appreciation for what it takes to make it in our great State.

I understand the value of hard work. I’ve owned small businesses and have currently worked for my present employer for 25 years. It will take collaborative teamwork if we are to make meaningful headway on issues in Juneau. My six years of experience on the Homer City Council will help me work productively with my fellow elected officials.

Position Statement

Alaskans deserve better. We need a Senator with the leadership and political will to earnestly work to resolve our most pressing fiscal challenges.

As a citizen legislature, we are best served by those that are connected to the realities of everyday life, not by those who have made a profession out of elected office. Career politicians too often become part of the machinery they are meant to design, maintain, and safeguard against special interests.

As a father, a truck driver, and just an average Alaskan, I’m tired of us going nowhere because of the political games in Juneau; it’s time to move Alaska forward!

With your support, I will bring new energy with a fresh perspective to help lead Alaska’s future. I’m ready to go to work for you. With your VOTE I commit to representing every community in District C and working hard to improve the quality of life for all Alaskans.

A banner at Homer City Hall identifies the building as a voting precinct. Early voting runs at city hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Friday and Monday in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
This sample ballot shows the primary election races for the House District 6 election to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. (Courtesy Alaska Division of Elections)
This sample ballot shows the special election race for U.S. Representative for the House District 6 election to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. The special election is the first time Alaskans will use ranked-choice rating, where they can rank first, second or third the candidates. (Courtesy Alaska Division of Elections)