It's General Election day across the nation. Here in Alaska we'll be faced with a ballot full of candidates and ballot initiatives. Polls opened at 7 this morning and will remain so until 8 p.m.
Voters in Kodiak, like the rest of the state, will decide who will best represent us in the governor's office, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Candidates for governor include incumbent Republican Sean Parnell with his running mate the mayor of Anchorage, Dan Sullivan, and Independent Bill Walker and his running mate Byron Mallott, Libertarian Carolyn Clift and her running mate Andrew Lee, and the Alaska Constitution Party's J.R. Myers and running mate Maria Rensel.
Incumbent Democrat Mark Begich is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate. He's challenged by republican Dan Sullivan – a different one than the one running for Lt. Governor – Libertarian Mark Fish, and unaffiliated candidate Ted Gianoutsos. Political observers nationwide are keeping an eye on this race, as its outcome could contribute to the Senate switching hands.
Forty-two-year incumbent Republican Don Young is seeking a 22nd term in the U.S. House. He's challenged by Democrat Forrest Dunbar and Libertarian Jim McDermott.
Republican incumbent Gary Stevens is seeking another term in the Alaska State Senate, and is being challenged by Democrat Robert “Moose” Henrichs of Cordova.
There is no incumbent in the Alaska State House race from our area, District 32. Cordova Democrat Jerry McCune, the president of United Fishermen of Alaska, will face Kodiak Republican Louise Stutes, a former Kodiak Island Borough Assemblywoman.
There are three ballot measures on our ballots today. Number 2 would legalize and tax the sale of marijuana. It's currently legal in Alaska to grow a limited amount for personal use, but illegal to sell any.
Question Number 3 would raise the minimum wage in Alaska from its current $7.75 per hour to $8.75 on January 1st 2015 and again to $9.75 per hour on January 1st 2016. If approved, ballot question Number 4 would require legislative approval of any large-scale mining in Bristol Bay. There is no ballot question Number 1. Retention of Alaska Supreme Court Justice Craig Stowers is on the ballot, as are various Superior and District Court judges, which vary by district.
Polls remain open until 8 p.m. KMXT, NPR and APRN will have results all evening.