OPINION: Dahlstrom will be most effective in US House

A recent opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News titled, “Which U.S House candidate will be most effective?” advocated for one of the candidates opposing Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola for the U.S. House of Representatives. The writer emphasized age as the primary criterion for election to the House. This is a false premise to say the least.

There are presently 20 House committees. Of course, they are all chaired by Republicans since Republicans hold the majority of seats — 218 Republicans, 213 Democrats and four vacancies. So, 20 Republican chairmen out of 218 Republicans. Statistically, a Republican has less than a 10% chance of chairing a committee, no matter how long he or she has been there. Taking the entire U.S. House of Representatives, only 5% are committee chairmen. Are the remaining 411 members 95% irrelevant? Of course not. So the writer of the opinion piece made a flawed argument.

What’s most important? In a group of more than 400 members, experience and proven ability are most important. It takes a lot of moxie for a member to navigate through that many people and make meaningful accomplishments.

To begin with, Nancy Dahlstrom started as a volunteer political activist, helping candidates run for office. She then ran for the Alaska House of Representatives and won her seat, serving with distinction. She was appointed to an important, high-level executive position in our Alaska state government, again serving well. She ran for lieutenant governor for our great state of Alaska, a position she won and now serves in, proving she can win a statewide election and work effectively at the highest levels of Alaska politics.

Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom is clearly the best possible candidate to challenge Congresswoman Mary Peltola.

To summarize, she’s helped candidates win and learned the ropes in the process. She understands elective office and knows the potential pitfalls. She’s won both district and statewide offices proving that a majority of Alaskans trust her as their leader. She understands the process from the ground up. Important when making important contributions for the people of Alaska.

By contrast, while her opponent comes from a respected, Democrat political family — a family of significant accomplishments — the candidate himself has no experience whatsoever holding elective office. Many believe he has potential. But he needs to gain experience at the lower levels and work his way up. He needs to prove himself. There’s time for him to do that. He can’t simply absorb the experience of his other family members by some kind of osmosis. It takes personal experience on the job.


Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom is far and away the best candidate to win this important election.

Burt Bomhoff served on the Anchorage Borough Assembly from 1968-1971, as well as on many city and state boards and commissions. He is also a political volunteer.

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