Q&A with Alaska U.S. House candidates: What would be your top priority if elected?

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.

What would be your top priority if elected to Congress?

Jay R. Armstrong (R)

Upholding my oath to defend our Constitution for the U.S. against all enemies foreign and domestic — all the time, every time. Washington, D.C. has become the domestic terrorists, enemies within — the rebels to the constitutional limitations against them, usurping states’ and Alaskans’ fundamental rights. My top priority is correcting the not-constitutional Statehood Act and transferring the lands, waters and resources to Alaskans and our state. If you want to be free, vote for me.

Nick Begich (R)

My top priority when elected is to create economic opportunities and generational wealth for the people of our great state. To do this, we must provide a compelling case to those in Congress that Alaska’s future is a core part of our nation’s future. Whether it’s oil and gas, critical minerals, timber, fishing, or tourism, Alaska provides the nation with a wealth of resources upon which we may build a healthy and stable economy, strong families, and a generation of leadership for our state.

Gregg B. Brelsford (undeclared)

I will fight to ensure our military is second to none, to vigorously develop energy and mineral resources and jobs, balanced with the environment & climate, to control inflation, for freedom and liberty, for tribal sovereignty and to better address cases involving missing and murdered Native women, for affordable housing and health care, to protect Social Security and Medicare and our Second Amendment rights, and to support Alaska’s 160-plus local governments, veterans, and the arts.


Robert Brown (nonpartisan)

The creation of a model for direct democracy and revamping of public benefits. Support for free education, and the expansion of public assistance and Medicare availability to all.

Chris Bye (Libertarian)

Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment. We are forcing future generations to pay for political activism. While we are forcing the future workforce to pay, we are denying opportunities to future Alaskans with regulations, restrictions and executive branch decrees. Also: expedite the turnover of 31 million acres of property that belongs to Alaskans from the federal government as part of the Statehood Act, an area roughly the size of New York state. This represents opportunity for all Alaskans of all walks.

Arlene Carle (nonpartisan)

Don Young’s seat will have been vacant five months when I take office. My top priority is to serve constituents, fill committee assignments, and educate Washington, D.C. on the folly of green energy that is unrealistic in today’s technology. Windmills freeze up. Electric cars travel 200 miles and need five hours to recharge. Solar panels need sun. We have communities where the sun doesn’t shine for three months at a stretch. We need to stop the war on oil that is costing jobs and causing inflation.

Santa Claus (undeclared)

Top priority: Medicare for all (M4A). Many Alaskans who have experienced COVID-19 or injuries and illnesses that have resulted in extraordinary medical bills are aware that, according to Medicare4All.org, “Medicare has provided guaranteed health care for millions of seniors for more than 51 years. It’s time we have a Medicare for all, single-payer health care system that would end health disparities, effectively control costs, and assure that everyone has equal access to an excellent standard of care.”

John B. Coghill Jr. (R)

Alaska and her well being, America in its Constitutional integrity. Limit government while we unleash the freedoms promised us citizens.

Christopher S. Constant (D)

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!

Otto H. Florschutz III (R)

I am sure Congressman Don Young had unfinished business he was working on. Ranking those in priority to serving Alaska interests and then following through to try and complete them would be my greatest priority.

Laurel A. Foster (nonpartisan)

My top priorities are the needs of Alaska’s people. Our state is plagued by so many issues spanning from missing and murdered Indigenous people, lack of public safety in our rural communities, to the needs for oil and energy independence, and concerns of climate change. There is no one issue that stands above or below the other, as each has a different level of impact on different communities. The key is balancing these issues to address them efficiently to benefit of the people of Alaska.

Thomas “Tom” R. Gibbons (R)


My top priority is to vote against the far-left agenda, and to reopen Alaska oil and gas.

Karyn Griffin (undeclared)

Food and housing insecurity among our most vulnerable members of society. Everyone deserves to live in a safe home and know they will be able to eat.

Al Gross (nonpartisan)

My top priority as your Congressman will be to help create jobs, bring capital projects to the state, and to diversify our economy by lowering energy, transportation, and health care costs which will make it easier for businesses in Alaska to prosper. The Russian invasion of Ukraine highlights the need to adequately fund the U.S. military based in Alaska, and to invest in Alaska-based energy sources to ensure the U.S. has energy independence.

Andrew J. Halcro (nonpartisan)

The way America and Alaska engages with Russia has forever changed. There will be new opportunities in Alaska’s seafood markets with the prohibition on Russian imports, Alaska’s resource development industries with the global shift in energy policy and Alaska’s military positioning in a day of new Russian aggression. Alaska needs a dedicated voice to represent Alaska’s interest, not one that will spend 75% of their time on the campaign trail.

Ted S. Heintz (Libertarian)


Inflation must be reined in with reduced spending. Oil and gas production must be increased. Parents rights regarding education must be restored. Public and collegiate educational system reform is needed. Marijuana should be legalized, medical and recreational. Veterans and actively serving troops should have THC available as part of authorized medical care. Crime must be addressed and part of that means honoring self-defense rights.

John Wayne Howe (Alaska Independence Party)

Vote against any and all taxes.

Don Knight (nonpartisan)

To prioritize the needed changes to our government and find solutions to make them happen. Most can see where we need to go, but there is very little progress in getting there.If you want to see better government, identify the problems and find solutions. Let’s solve them together. No one can do it alone.

Jeff Lowenfels (nonpartisan)

Remain vigilant in ensuring Alaskan interests are not overlooked during the federal legislative process and acting as a multi-office gateway to help Alaskans deal with the federal bureaucracy.

Mike E. Melander (R)

To promote America leading the world.

Sherry M. Mettler (undeclared)

Inflation and securing our borders among many other issues plaguing Alaskan’s today.

Mike Milligan (D)


My top priority is to begin negotiations for corridors to be owned by the state of Alaska. These should be well planned for the possibility of two opportunities in the coming future: the statehood of Puerto Rico, championed by Don Young for decades, and the possibility of Alaskan entities surrendering development potential in ANWR for just compensation.

J.R. Myers (Libertarian)

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all through constitutional governance, due process and the rule of law. To promote term limits and election integrity. To defend the entire Constitution. To end the war on drugs, and all other illegal and undeclared wars. To resist an imperial presidency and unlawful executive orders. To decentralize power and to encourage more accountable servant leadership in government, and to promote prosperity by more responsible stewardship of our resources.

Robert Ornelas (American Independent Party)

Issues that I will prioritize as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives will be defending state of Alaska from Russia, and I am concerned with sovereignty of Native American and Alaska Native communities. The last time Russia invaded Alaska was August 20, 1924. Alaska has a common interest with Ukraine. Stop Russian squatters at Wrangel Island and Crimea, Ukraine. I promise to guard our U.S. Constitution and to protect our sovereign borders.

Sarah Palin (R)


I plan to honor Young’s legacy by continuing his fight for the issues most important to Alaskans. America must become energy independent and Alaska can help do that. Alaska’s oil, gas and minerals are needed to feed and fuel a hungry nation. We are rich in God-given natural resources, and Alaskans are willing and able to responsibly develop them.

Silvio E. Pellegrini (undeclared)

Remain candid. Always. My priorities will be the same as my constituents’ and I will be accountable to them. Communicate laterally and vertically with the U.S. government and Alaskans on these issues by developing a reasonable plan. Prioritize, and deliver for resolution. I feel Alaskans want transparency, protection of individual freedoms and liberties, and to maintain our high standards for quality of life. All efforts will always have these underlying principles in mind.

Mary S. Peltola (D)

My top priority is to serve all Alaskans by helping to improve our quality of life. That means championing policies that support the entrepreneurial spirit and creating an economy that meets the needs of living and future generations.

Joshua C. Revak (R)

Congressman Young fought hard for Alaska, and I will continue his legacy by putting partisan politics aside and prioritizing the people of Alaska. This is a pivotal time in history, and it would be an honor of a lifetime to continue my service to our great nation by representing all the people of Alaska. As Don Young said, " I will win the battles that Alaska cannot afford to lose.”

Tara M. Sweeney (R)

Alaska. Regardless of where you live in Alaska, we need a robust economy and a strong labor force to continue to meet the needs of, and empower, Alaskans. One of my top priorities will be to focus on how to drive investment into our state. As one representative for Alaska, I will build the necessary networks in Congress to ensure that Alaska’s voice is heard. For nearly 50 years Congressman Young fought tirelessly for our state, and I will continue that legacy.

David Thistle (undeclared)

Restoring the public’s trust in their government by defending U.S. constitutional law.

Jo Woodward (R)

Safety; Alaska’s introduction to rapid transit if the public agrees; making Alaska green; reducing pollution; all environmental issues including opting for all food markets’ packaged food products to be offered in only recyclable or returnable packaging. Housing matters, if applicable on any federal level. Wildlife and fish and game, the forestry commission. Prescription drug pricing, but to the best of my understanding, Congress has taken a stand on the matter.

Adam L. Wool (D)

Bring some balance, normalcy, and functionality to the body, and do what’s best for Alaska.

Stephen Wright (R)

The main thing is increasing Alaska oil production and ensuring we are not buying communist resources that are not only increasing our cost but defeating our high standards of production and top quality reserves. We must be the world leader in oil and rare earth mineral development as it is our most essential national security measure. We need to enact the defense authorization act to ensure protection from contributing to the development of communism and its effect on our economic activities!!!

• • •

Multiple candidates did not respond to the survey. They include:

• Dennis “Denny” W. Aguayo (nonpartisan)

• Brian T. Beal (undeclared)

• Tim Beck (undeclared)

• John T. Callahan (R)

• Lady Donna Dutchess (nonpartisan)

• William “Bill” D. Hibler III (nonpartisan)

• David Hughes (undeclared)

• Robert “Bob” Lyons (R)

• Anne M. McCabe (nonpartisan)

• Emil Notti (D)

• Maxwell Sumner (R)

• Ernest F. Thomas (D)

• Richard “Clayton” Trotter (R)

• Bradley D. Welter (R)

• Jason G. Williams (undeclared)