Nonpartisan Chris Cumings runs for U.S. Senate

 Chris Cumings is running for the U.S. Senate and spoke about why he is running. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)
Chris Cumings is running for the U.S. Senate and spoke about why he is running. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 4:57 PM AKDT
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Chris Cumings from Ketchikan is running for Senator Dan Sullivan's seat in the U.S. Senate.

"I'm running because I'm trying to bring some real lived experience. I don't have many credentials, I'm not very notable or even successful, but I've lived life and I think that means something," said Cumings.

Cumings says his platform is focused on social infrastructure, such as health care and education.

"I think we're seeing now with the pandemic how neglected our social infrastructure is. Obviously health care, I'm strongly in favor of universal health coverage, whatever it looks like, whatever it's called, I don't care. But I don't think money should be a part of going to the doctor and getting better," said Cumings.

He also mentioned the lack of childcare in the state. “We’re beginning to realize how important daycares are. It is not just about daycare being affordable, it is also a supply problem. There is just not enough providers in the state, especially in a community like Ketchikan. There is a lot of capital cost trying to get licensed, so I think we can do a better job supporting people who want to go in that field,” said Cumings.

He would also hope to solve the turnover of teacher and health care providers in rural Alaska.

Cumings ran in 2018 for Congressman Don Young's seat in the U.S House of Representatives. “It was an interesting experience... ya know, I had no idea what I was doing. I studied politics in school, I was a political science major so I had book knowledge about politics, but I did not have that practical nuts and bolts like 'how do you campaign, what does it look like'... the behind the scenes stuff that you don’t learn in school,” said Cumings.

He said he is proud of the 8% of the vote, which he got in the primary in 2018. He received 2,926 votes.

“I didn’t put much effort into fundraising that time and I’m not doing it this time. With the thousand dollars I put in myself, from family, I got like 3,000 votes -- so that’s a pretty good return on investment. I think it’s just a matter of getting the word out, finding that spark this time around, that will get me over the top,” said Cumings.

Cumings says he thinks there is a clear contrast between him and his opponents.

"I'm someone young, who lives paycheck to paycheck who has struggled with disadvantage or whatever. My life has not been easy. My opponents are older, well off, well connected... privileged is what it is. I think it's time to do something different and I think that in Congress and D.C. that starts with electing people like us,” said Cumings.

Cumings will be on the non-republican primary ballot with Al Gross, John Wayne Howe, and Edgar Blatchford. The primary election is on August 18.

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