Three Alaska political veterans said this week they were considering entering the race for Anchorage mayor, with the election six months away.
Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, Democratic state Sen. Hollis French and former gubernatorial candidate and GOP state representative Andrew Halcro all said they were thinking about bids for the city's highest elected office, which is currently held by Dan Sullivan.
Sullivan, a Republican, is running for lieutenant governor in this November's election, and even if he loses, term limits bar him from seeking a third three-year term as mayor.
Two major candidates have already said they're running: Assemblywoman Amy Demboski, who's a Republican, and independent Dan Coffey, an attorney and a former Assemblyman.
City races are officially nonpartisan, but candidates often attract support from political parties and leaders.
Treadwell expressed his interest in an interview Monday with Alaska Dispatch News, saying, "I haven't ruled it out."
"It's definitely one option that I've been looking at, but it's not the only option," he said.
French was running on the Democratic ticket for lieutenant governor before dropping off the ballot when his running mate, Byron Mallott, agreed to join with independent Bill Walker to form a "unity ticket."
French, asked about his intentions in a brief phone interview Tuesday, said he'd been urged to run for Anchorage mayor by many people he respects.
"And I'm giving it serious consideration," he said. He declined to answer further questions.
Halcro, who's currently president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, said Monday he's "thinking more seriously today than I ever have."
"Every day, I think I'm getting closer and closer, just simply because of what I'm hearing and the people who are approaching me," he said in a phone interview. "I'm a little surprised nobody else has jumped in at this point."
Two current Assembly members, Elvi Gray-Jackson and Dick Traini, have also said they're pondering running for mayor.
Typically, mayoral elections attract a gaggle of candidates -- seven received more than 1,000 votes in 2000.
"There's people that we haven't even thought of that could easily decide to run," said Marc Hellenthal, a consultant and pollster who's working with Coffey. "There's a lot of people that would like to be mayor."
Hellenthal said the field typically settles by Dec. 1. Candidates can collect only $500 annually from campaign contributors, so declaring before the end of the year allows them to raise more money.