Nonpartisan Vernon Carlson runs for Alaska House District 6

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 4:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Nonpartisan candidate Vernon Carlson is running to represent District 6 in the Alaska House of Representatives. This seat is currently held by Dave Talerico, who is not seeking reelection.

Carlson said he is running because the timing was right politically for himself and the district.

“I feel like I’m very well prepared to sit in the seat in Juneau,” he said, adding, “I’ve been sitting on the Denali Borough School Board for fourteen years, and I felt like it was time for me to start moving forward with my ambitions of how I want to live the rest of my life and how I want to see District 6 move forward.”

Carlson said he wants to bring jobs back to the interior of Alaska. “I’ve looked at the state’s website, and I’ve also looked at other data, and approximately 150 jobs or so have been migrated out of Fairbanks down to Anchorage, and Anchorage has had an increase of 500 jobs. And every time the state has these budget cuts, they just migrate more jobs out of Fairbanks and/or the interior of Alaska, down into the central Wasilla/Anchorage area.”

He said he wants to see the rural justice system be more relevant for rural people. “Currently we, as anybody that lives more than 50 miles from a courthouse, are not allowed to serve on a jury. And I think that’s a huge travesty for those of us that live more than 50 miles from a courthouse, where we’re not allowed to participate in the judicial system.”

“I want to bring and expand our health care system to where we don’t have to travel to Anchorage or Fairbanks to get health care. And I know this can be done because they’re doing it in Tok right now, and they’re doing it in Cantwell where we have partnerships between the Alaska Native Medical Centers, Tanana Chiefs Conference, Copper River Native Association, where we’re actually expanding our health care to include all residents of our communities. And I think we should expand that to our communities all the way around the surrounding areas,” Carlson said.

According to Carlson, he has the experience for the position. “I know how state government works. I understand the dynamics of writing budgets, cutting budgets, and fully funding. And as a member of the Denali Borough School Board, we never ran a budget deficit, and we were always funded 100 percent to the cap by our assembly. And that’s just good relationships, good abilities to talk to people.”

Carlson described himself as a proponent of small schools. “I know this can be done. We don’t have to have boarding schools, and we’re headed back that way with the bringing children out of the villages back into the larger communities. I don’t think it needs to be done.”

He also wants to see broadband improved. “We can do that, that’s not that difficult. There’s three fiberoptic lines running the Parks Highway. We can run a line down the banks of the Yukon just as easy.”

Carlson is running against Elijah Verhagen, Deborah Riley, Mike Cronk and Julia Hnilicka in the general election on November 3rd.

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