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Democrat Taryn Hughes runs for District 5 in the Alaska State Legislature

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -

Democrat Taryn Hughes is running for District 5 in the Alaska State Legislature. This seat is currently held by Adam Wool.

Hughes explained why she is running, saying, “We need more women in office. The Interior delegation consists of largely men, well-to-do men. I think that diversifying our representation in the Interior delegation and in Juneau brings a diversification of life experience and lived experience that we’re missing right now in the Interior specifically.”

She also said she is running because she’s a constituent candidate. “I have experience working in the gig industry, waiting tables, working for tips, teaching yoga. I don’t come from a background of business ownership where the people working for me are the gig industry workers.”

According to Hughes, responsive representation means having tough conversations with constituents.

“We need responsive representation coming out of District 5. If the budget crisis was brewing for this many years, where was the outreach in 2014? Where was the outreach in 2015 through 2018. I don’t believe that 2019 was the year to start reaching out to constituents. We need representation that reaches out and stays connected to constituents, to voters, to the people who live in the communities that elect us.”

Hughes said budget solutions have to be a full, robust picture.

“Our budget crisis is a systemic issue. It requires systemic solutions, which means it can’t just be a draw annually on the percent of market value [POMV]. It can’t just be the Fair Share Act. It can’t just be an income tax. There has to be a broad solution because the issue is broad in and of itself,” she said.

Hughes went on to say, “Pulling from the percent of market value to supplement the budget exposed a lot of holes in our systems of infrastructure, in our systems of education, and in our access to public healthcare. So when we implement budget solutions, they have to encompass raising minimum wage to a living wage. They have to encompass access to healthcare. Medicaid dollars bring in federal dollars in triplicate to the state.”

“I don’t support pulling out of the POMV to supplement the budget at the same time that we’re implementing an income tax, and at the same time that we’re not talking about getting our fair share of oil revenues from the oil companies who are drilling in our lands because it leaves behind the most vulnerable populations. I’ve been on the phone for hours, every night and every weekend day, with people in our district, and I don’t want to see the Vietnam veteran, former marine who’s on 100 percent disability, tell me in two years that he’s using his dividend to put food on his table,” she said.

Hughes is running against incumbent Adam Wool in the non-Republican primary ballot on August 18th.

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