Alaska Legislature

Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard will run for state House

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pandemic, Anchorage Assembly, Assemblywoman Jamie Allard

Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard will run for an Eagle River state House seat newly opened by redistricting.

Allard, a Republican, announced her decision Thursday morning, a month after she filed a letter of intent that indicated she would seek state office. That letter had left the office blank, leaving it uncertain whether she would run for House, Senate or another position.

Allard said she intends to continue serving on the Anchorage Assembly while she campaigns for state House.

In a written statement and a brief interview, she said she hopes to help Republicans regain control of the Alaska House, which has been controlled by a multipartisan coalition since 2016.

A Republican-controlled House would help Gov. Mike Dunleavy, she said. Dunleavy is running for reelection in 2022.

[Former Anchorage Sen. Cathy Giessel, defeated in 2020, will run again in 2022]

The southern Eagle River state House district is currently represented by coalition member Kelly Merrick, R-Eagle River, but the new legislative borders drawn in Alaska’s once-per-decade redistricting process have put Merrick’s home in the district of fellow Rep. Ken McCarty, R-Eagle River, leaving her former district without an incumbent.

Merrick’s decision to join the coalition this spring broke a monthslong deadlock in the Alaska House that paralyzed the body. Allard faults that choice, saying Republicans could have managed a way to break it on their own.

She said she was planning to challenge Merrick, even before redistricting drew new lines.

“It’s because of her decision that led to putting three Democrats in key positions on committees. She has been a big factor on why the state has gone the way they have,” Allard said.

Allard’s prospective district is heavily Republican, and Allard herself has governed from the right as a member of the Assembly.

She has fought pandemic restrictions in Anchorage, has clashed with other members of the liberal-leaning Assembly and is a reliable ally to Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson. She has also allied herself strongly with members of the private Save Anchorage group on Facebook, using it as a tool to organize opposition to the Assembly majority’s actions.

“It’s difficult being in the minority,” she said. “I believe my shoes (on the Assembly) can be filled quite easily. We have good conservatives out in Eagle River.”

Earlier this year, Allard was removed from the Alaska Commission on Human Rights after commenting on social media in defense of Nazi-themed license plates issued by the state. Some Anchorage residents have started a petition in an attempt to recall her from office.

That history hasn’t prevented Allard from accumulating a long list of endorsements for her state House run. Among those endorsing Allard, according to a list she provided, are Mayor Bronson, House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, conservative political writer Suzanne Downing and several Republican members of the state House and Senate.

Joe Wright, the local Republican Party chairman, has filed a letter of intent allowing him to raise money for a potential run for office, but he said Thursday that he hasn’t decided whether to run for House, Senate or at all.

“I’m excited for Jamie,” he said.

The deadline for a candidate to enter the race is 5 p.m. June 1.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.

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