two candidates for Kodiak’s lone seat in the state House of Representatives,
Alan Austerman and Andy Lundquist, squared off in a forum that aired live on
KMXT last night. KMXT’s Casey Kelly reports.
was significantly sharper in tone than the previous meeting of state house
candidates, prior to the August primary, when Austerman, the lone Republican
took on Lundquist and fellow Democrat Dave Kaplan. During opening statements,
Austerman wasted no time criticizing radio ads that his opponent is running on
commercial radio stations in Kodiak.
1 :14s “…advertising
in a local election.”)
used his opening statement to tout his background in business and as a certified
1 :32s “…halibut
commercially for years.”)
John Whiddon asked questions, including some from members of the live audience
at the borough assembly chambers. On construction of a new Kodiak High School building,
both candidates agreed that the state should pick up more of the tab for new
school construction. Both also agreed that there should be an inter-island
ferry that services more of Kodiak’s village communities.
differed when asked to define rationalization programs. Austerman went first.
2 :48s “…rationalization
is a bad word.”)
Lundquist said in his view, rationalization is never a good thing.
2 :31s “…to
the people in this state.”)
came up again when the candidates were allowed to question each other at the
mid-point of the debate. Lundquist questioned what Austerman had done, as
Governor Frank Murkowski’s fisheries policy advisor, to oppose Crab
Rationalization at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Austerman
answered that the program was implemented under the administration of
Democratic Governor Tony Knowles.
3 :22s “…my
watch as fishery advisor.”)
second question to Austerman had to do with Pebble Mine, which the Republican
recently told the Kodiak Daily Mirror he was on the fence about. Austerman
defended the remark, but qualified it by saying he’s against any mine that
harms the Bristol Bay region’s fishery resource.
4 :19s “…what’s
gonna take place in Pebble.”)
asked Lundquist about a federal and state managed fisheries program known as
Community Quota Entity, which helps communities purchase halibut and sablefish
quotas. Lundquist said he wasn’t familiar with the program, but if it was
anything like the Community Development Quota program he would have issues with
it. Austerman also asked Lundquist how he planned to get things done in Juneau
if he were a member of the minority party and whether he would consider joining
a bipartisan coalition.
3 :30s “…but
they might not too.”)
Whiddon asked each candidate what committees they’d like to be on if elected.
Austerman said he would take his previous experience as a state lawmaker in
Juneau during the late 90s and early 2000s and seek a leadership position in
the state house. If he didn’t get that he said he’d like to be on the finance
or fisheries committees. Lundquist said he’d look to get on the resource,
fisheries, or finance committees.
statements Austerman again touted his experience, characterizing Lundquist as
inexperienced. Lundquist listed a series of policy goals he’d have, including
helping the state build a natural gas pipeline, school funding and a
comprehensive alternative energy policy.
house race is on the ballot at next week’s November 4th election.