The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for U.S. House running in the special primary election to answer a series of questions. Read all of their responses here.
CHRISTOPHER S. CONSTANT*, Democrat from Anchorage
What in your background qualifies you to represent Alaskans in Congress?
I started my public service in the Fairview Community Council serving nine years before election to the Anchorage Assembly. I built deep connections with my community to learn what issues neighbors face and how I can fight to improve their lives. On the Assembly, I created jobs, recognized the sovereign tribes of Alaska and helped drive the redesign of the Port of Alaska and the sale of Municipal Light and Power, reducing costs. I will take that same fight to Congress, to better our state and open new opportunities.
Why are you running for U.S. Congress in Alaska?
I announced my candidacy for Congress last year, before the late Rep. Don Young passed. When I called Young to tell him, we had a far-ranging conversation. One theme rose above the rest: the sorry state of the current political discourse. I am seeking office to fight for Alaskans, but to do so honoring civil discourse. Don Young and I disagreed on many things, but we spoke with respect for one another and about how the role of a congressional member is to work for Alaska, not national interests.
What would be your top priority if elected to Congress?
My top priority will be representing the interests of Alaskans who need assistance from the systems in Washington. As Alaska’s lone representative, I will be there for Alaskans, as I have been for my community for the past 15 years. There are many important issues. Economic development, transportation and infrastructure, health care, climate, resource development, renewable energy. All important matters, but the very first duty is being responsive to Alaskans in need. I will be there for you!
What is your position on abortion?
I support a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, full stop. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor, and one the government should have no say in. I support the right to an abortion established by Roe v. Wade, and am appalled by the political decision to reverse established law. Reversing a decision that has stood for 50 years is nearly unheard of and sets a dangerous precedent of the Supreme Court removing liberties, rather than expanding them.
If legislation came before the U.S. House that would guarantee the same abortion rights nationwide as the Roe v. Wade decision, how would you vote?
If you support abortion rights, what limitations, if any, do you think should be placed on those rights, such as waiting periods or a specific point in a pregnancy where abortion should no longer be legal?
I believe in the limitations set by Roe v. Wade, which allows states to allow to ban third-trimester abortions unless the procedure is medically necessary in order to protect the mother’s health.
Would you support a bill, if it came before the House, to expand the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Why or why not?
The court increasingly resembles a partisan body. This is the result of decades of work by groups like the Federalist Society. A third of the court was appointed by Trump, the most partisan president in modern history. All said Roe v. Wade was established law during their confirmation, then immediately set about overturning the law. The makeup of the court today in no way resembles the will of the American people and is usurping unprecedented power. If the court does indeed continue a transformation from a judicial body to a de facto political body, I would support expansion.
What do you think should be done by the federal government to address mass shootings?
The United States has the most guns, the least gun regulations and the most gun violence of any nation in the world. It takes mental gymnastics to look at those first few facts and determine they are not related to the third fact. We have about 100 million more guns than people in this country. I support the Second Amendment and do not believe we should ban guns, but it’s time we get serious about putting human lives above the right to own any type of gun and bring it anywhere you want free of any regulation. I support the federal government passing meaningful gun regulation policy.
Do you support gun control legislation? If so, what kind of measures would you support? If not, why not?
I am in favor of universal background checks, red flag laws and magazine capacity restrictions. In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas shooting, I thought about the purpose of assault-style rifles. These are battle-style weapons that are routinely used in mass shootings. We must protect human lives, first and foremost. I am in favor of ending the sale of assault-style weapons.
*Note: Constant is one of several candidates who are also running in Alaska’s regular U.S. House primary election in August.