Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce hosts candidate forum for state house districts 1 and 5

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 4:18 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On October 13th, candidates for Alaska Legislative Districts 1 and 5 participated in a virtual forum hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

Present were Christopher Quist and incumbent Bart LeBon for House District 1, and Kevin McKinley and incumbent Adam Wool for House District 5.

Candidates discussed their positions on various topics, including the Permanent Fund. They differed in their approach to the issue of how the Permanent Fund should be used, and whether the state budget should be cut to provide for the Permanent Fund Dividend.

LeBon said, “Given our tight budget environment, all the agencies are going to be subject to some type of a budget reduction. How much is anybody’s best guess, because once you get down to Juneau, you’re negotiating with 40 house members and 20 senators.”

His opponent, Quist, explained, “If you owned a stock in a company that paid a dividend, and that company wasn’t currently being profitable, or was on lean times, you wouldn’t expect a dividend at that time. You would expect them to tighten things up and come back stronger, and be able to pay a sustainable dividend in future quarters.”

For district 5, Wool said, “I would rather put that priority of education, public safety, roads, and all these things, above the PFD. Now [the] PFD is important, and we should maintain it, but these other things take priority.”

Wool’s opponent, McKinley, said, “One of the things I hear when I’m out talking to people is that we need to change the statute -- that would be SB 26, stating what the PFD should be. I think that’s something the legislature needs to address at some point in time.”

Other topics addressed at the forum included opportunities for compromise in Juneau, Federal and state aid in Alaska, and the wearing of face masks.

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