Alaska News

More than 100 in Homer protest budget vetoes

HOMER -- Chanting “Gut Our Fish. Not Our State,” some 150 Homer residents rallied Sunday at the town’s Legislative Information Office to protest Gov. Dunleavy’s budget vetoes and the unwavering support for the cuts shown by their local representative, freshman Republican Sarah Vance.

Speakers on Sunday backed funding for the university, local schools and the arts. Some begged Vance to “please be willing to change your mind.” Others were harsher in their criticism of their representative, a member of the House minority.

“She doesn’t seem to understand the word ‘compromise,' ” said Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Willy Dunne. “She’s out of touch with her constituents. She’s out of touch with reality.”

Vance, who described herself as a home-schooling Homer mom, was elected last fall, handily beating longtime incumbent Paul Seaton with strong support in the district’s conservative northern precincts. She got her start in local politics running an unsuccessful city council recall campaign in 2017 over an alleged effort to defy federal immigration policies.

Vance campaigned for state office quietly, vowing to support Dunleavy and large Permanent Fund Dividends, and to oppose an income tax. Seaton, a Republican moderate who helped lead a bipartisan legislative coalition the year before, was aggressively targeted in the campaign by a Republican PAC, “Families of the Last Frontier.”

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