Sep 18 2008
Austerman, Lundquist Ready To Go In District 36 Race
Thursday, 18 September 2008

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           After more than three weeks of waiting for absentee, questioned and overseas ballots to trickle in, Andy Lundquist has held on to defeat fellow Democrat Dave Kaplan in the House District 36 primary, which was held August 26th.  The margin of victory was just 17 votes, 601 to 584. Lundquist is now ready to move on to the general election, where he’ll face Republican Alan Austerman. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

Lundquist says the close primary race means he’ll have to try even harder to win in the general election. One strategy he’ll employ is trying to win the rural vote.

(Dist 36-1                             :35s                             “…I’ll work a little harder.”)

Austerman, despite receiving 147 more votes running unopposed in the closed Republican primary than both Democrats combined, says he won’t rest on his laurels either.

(Austerman 1                         :23s                             “…in the general election.”)

Lundquist is a political newcomer, and says voters are looking for a change in Juneau and that he’s the one who is best prepared to offer that.

(Dist 36-5                             :18s                             “…is pretty clear in my mind.”)

Austerman agrees that voters are looking for change. But he says his past political experience, which includes stints on the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly, in the state legislature and as former Governor Frank Murkowski’s fisheries policy advisor, does count for something.

(Austerman 2                         :29s                             “…start at the bottom of the rung.”)

Both candidates say they’ll be targeting independent voters. Lundquist says he expects a higher turnout in the general election and that most of those voters won’t belong to either political party.

(Lundquist 1                           :22s                             “…gonna be with the nonpartisans.”)

Austerman agrees.

(Austerman 3                         :32s                             “…not necessarily the party.”)

Meanwhile, Lundquist’s opponent in the primary, Dave Kaplan said last week that he would not seek a recount if he lost, and he will now pursue a write-in campaign for borough assembly.

(Dist 36-2                             :16s                             “…to serve for the community.”)

Kaplan says he’ll back Lundquist if the Democratic Party endorses him.

(Dist 36-4                             :25s                             “…the party on that for sure.”)

The general election is November 4th. Whoever wins the race for the District 36 House seat will replace Gabrielle LeDoux, who stepped down to concentrate on her recent race for U-S House of Representatives, where she came in third behind fellow Republicans Don Young and Sean Parnell.

I’m Casey Kelly.