Former Anchorage Assembly chair Suzanne LaFrance to run for mayor

Former Anchorage Assembly member and chair Suzanne LaFrance on Monday filed to run for mayor in next year’s city election.

LaFrance represented South Anchorage on the Assembly starting in 2017 and became chair in June 2021. She opted not to run for a third term but said in January she would “continue to be involved with our community.”

“I take this decision very seriously, and I’m excited to engage and move toward what can be a really bright future for our community,” LaFrance said Tuesday about filing a letter of intent to run for mayor.

She said she has not yet retained a campaign manager but is moving forward with that and other early steps to mounting a competitive bid.

LaFrance said her priorities as mayor would be drawing on her Assembly experience to improve core municipal functions for residents and “rebuilding local government.”

“First and foremost, local government is about providing services so that the economy is strong and this is a good place to live,” she said. “There’s widespread consensus that the housing shortage and the critical lack of child care, those are key to our economic development and to making our community a more affordable place to live.”

LaFrance became chair of the Assembly during a time of heightened tension centered on the city’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, which erupted into chaos during a series of meetings in fall 2021 over a proposed mask requirement, with conservative Mayor Dave Bronson and his allies firmly opposing the measure.


LaFrance led an Assembly majority often at odds with Bronson, frequently pushing back against his agenda, while also pursuing investigations into allegations of misconduct and mismanagement within his administration.

LaFrance, 54, grew up in Palmer and stepped away from a career in telecommunications to focus on chairing the Assembly during her second term. Just two weeks after leaving the Assembly she said she has no plans to return to full-time work, focusing instead on the early stages of her campaign and three teenage children.

In 2020, LaFrance ran as a nonpartisan for a House seat in the state Legislature, losing to Republican James Kaufman by 462 votes.

Bronson has also filed to run for mayor in 2024.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said LaFrance ran for the Legislature as a Democrat in 2020. She ran as a nonpartisan.

Zachariah Hughes

Zachariah Hughes covers Anchorage government, the military, dog mushing, subsistence issues and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. He also helps produce the ADN's weekly politics podcast. Prior to joining the ADN, he worked in Alaska’s public radio network, and got his start in journalism at KNOM in Nome.