Though Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman has not announced his plans for this summer and fall’s elections, it appears there will be an Austerman on the ballot one way or another. This (Monday) morning, Carol Austerman, the 45-year-old daughter of Kodiak’s current representative, announced her candidacy for the Alaska State House.
“You know he’s been talking about retiring now for several years, and I’m finally starting to take him seriously. I think he might just do it this year, so I’m preparing for a run.”
The newly formed District 32 will encompass Kodiak Island, the west side of the Shelikof Strait and Cook Inlet, up to Tyonek, Seldovia and Nanwalek on the Kenai Peninsula and over to Chenega, Whittier, Tatitlek, Cordova and Yakutat.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know that extended area outside of Kodia better. I have obviously spent a lot of time working with the Kodiak Borough, but I’m definitely looking forward to have an expanded area beyond that.”
Austerman’s father, Kodiak’s current House Representative, previously served as the fisheries czar for then-Governor Frank Murkowski, and before that was Kodiak’s State Senator and Representative, so has a long family history in government service. She is currently in her fourth year on the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly. She says fiscal responsible is her top priority.
“It’s something that I’ve been very active in at many different levels with the borough assembly. We have a lot of expenditures that we’ve been doing that we really haven’t taken the time to figure out how that money is being spent after we determine to give it to someone. And I think the state does that a lot too. And so that accountability for how governmental money is spent is really important to me.”
She says full education funding is another important plank in her platform, but she wants to bring the same accountability to it as she wants for other government spending. She said she is not in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment to allow public money to be used to send students at religious and private schools.
“I’m very concerned how that voucher program could impact the existing public schools and their funding. Because obviously from that would bmean, from a voucher perspective there would be a lot more children who are being paid for under the BSA, and that would cut, essentially the money that was available statewide, plus it would potentially cut money from the public schools budget.”
Though Austerman says her plans are known to her parents, she has not yet received word from her dad on what his plans may be for this year’s election.