Republican Keith Kurber runs for District 4 in the Alaska State Legislature

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 4:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Republican Keith Kurber is running to represent District 4 in the Alaska State Legislature. This seat is currently held by Grier Hopkins.

Kurber said he is running because now that he’s retired from his life’s work, there is an opening to see if someone who is not a career politician would be useful in the conversation about the issues Alaska is facing.

According to Kurber, one of the biggest issues the state has faced over time is the budget. “In my own personal life, I left active duty in the army to pursue a dream of being a Christian minister, and it caused me to take an immediate, almost 80 percent drop in income -- and I had to make some choices about my own budget. I had a wife and four kids the day I left the army, so I had to make some hard decisions -- and I think that having been able to balance my own family budget over life has given me some insights.”

Kurber said, “The legislature has made the choice to use a portion of the statutorily-directed PFD to fund government, and I watched that as a regular citizen. I had my opinion about that and so do most people.” He said that his views most closely comport with the belief that until the laws change, the legislature should stick with what the statute says regarding the Permanent Fund Dividend.

“I think it’s important that we get a chance to consider, long-term, what aspects of our government are we going to maintain? Strengthen some? We may have to reduce some -- but certainly, it’s a conversation that current events have sort of forced us into having,” he said.

Kurber explained he’s a veteran, a minister and a grandfather. “I don’t just like Alaska, I say I love it. The army brought me here in 1982, and I decided after two weeks in the field at 40 below, ‘I’d like to be an Alaskan.’” He added, “I care for my state, and I’ve seen this boom-bust situation play out a couple times, and I’d like to do my best to be part of the conversation so we can hopefully stave off the ‘bust’ part.”

Speaking about his priorities, Kurber said, “One of the things that Alaska’s budget faces, just as it does at the national level, is this issue of entitlements, or certain funding streams that are somewhat mandated -- and one of those is of course health and social services. That is a large consumer of our budget, as well as education.”

He added, “I care about education. I care about our university. So the thing is, what can I do, especially representing that area of West Fairbanks, of which the university is a big constituency, to see that people are taken care of? Taken care of in the sense that we have a university, people can get an education there, they don’t have to go outside to do so.”

Kurber is running unopposed on the Republican Primary Ballot on August 18th.

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