There's a Republican Party primary next year that's starting to get crowded -- but it's not the one you think.
Alaska Senate District L doesn't have the 17 Republican candidates campaigning for the party's presidential nomination in 2016. But it does appear to have three people vying for GOP votes in next summer's primary to represent the district in the Alaska Legislature's upper chamber, plus a Democrat ready to challenge the victor the following November.
The latest entrants include Republican incumbent Sen. Lesil McGuire, who on Friday filed a letter declaring her candidacy after earlier saying she'd been leaning toward running.
Former Anchorage School Board member Natasha Von Imhof also filed her own letter last week to run for an unspecified office in next year's primary. She wouldn't say in an email whether she planned to seek a House or Senate seat, but Jeff Landfield, who's also running in the Republican Party primary in District L, says Von Imhof told him she would be entering that race.
"She told me she was running," Landfield said.
Von Imhof didn't return a voicemail seeking comment on Landfield's comments and her letter, and instead sent an email: "At this time, I am exploring the opportunity to run for public office." She added that she filed the letter to meet the state's campaign finance rules.
"A more formal announcement may occur later this year," Von Imhof wrote.
Democrat Forrest McDonald has also said he's running for Senate in District L. The four potential candidates for the South Anchorage seat equals the number who have declared their candidacies for the other nine Senate seats open across the state next year.