With less than a month to go until the state general election, the incumbent leads in fund raising for the state house seat representing Petersburg, Sitka and other Southeast communities but he’s being outspent by his opponent.
Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins is seeking his fourth term. In a filing with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, he reports total campaign income of $58,452. He’s received contributions from several labor unions and numerous Southeast residents. Kreiss-Tomkins has spent $22,776 on signs, travel and campaign help.
“We’ve been working hard on the campaign and trying to make sure we have the resources to pinball around a really big and remote district and be able to have a good conversation with the voters,”Kreiss-Tomkins said. “I mean I think I’m particularly proud of a lot of grass roots contributions from people in Petersburg and Sitka and all of the smaller communities as well as around Alaska and beyond.”
Kreiss-Tomkins said he’s been traveling around the district which covers numerous small island communities from Pelican, Hoonah and Tenakee Springs in the north to Craig and Klawock in the south.
“Yeah now that we’re through the municipal elections I think a lot more attention will focus on these state offices and I’m just trying to do my best and work hard and excited to get closer to November,” he said.
Kreiss-Tomkins’s opponent, retired Sitka surgeon and Republican Richard Wein reports raising more than $35,241. Wein has contributions from individual residents, the state Republican party, and several political action committees for businesses. He has also contributed $14,650 of his own money.
“Because I believe in what I’m doing, and that is a life of service, I am happy to put my money where my mouth is and do some self-funding because at the end of the day it makes me more independent,” Wein said. “I don’t owe people favors because they gave me money.”
Wein said he’s not doing a lot of fund raising or seeking endorsements. He has been traveling around the district. He reports spending $30,578 on his website, campaign signs, advertising and travel.
“Going around Southeast there just seems to be the call for change and I have listened to many people and I am very attuned to business and just starting to jump start the state in every form and every venue.” he explained. “And I just feel that then need and the call is out there. Whether that translates into the votes, I’m not sure but I can tell you that that is what I’m hearing consistently, especially in the smaller communities.”
Both candidates took part in a forum at Southeast Conference in September. Both plan to take part in two other forums this month in Sitka that will be broadcast on radio. The general election is November 6 general election and early voting starts up October 22nd.
(Editor’s note: this story focused on the most recent filings with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. An earlier filing shows that Republican Richard Wein of Sitka also donated ten thousand dollars to his campaign earlier in the year for a total of over 24-thousand dollars.)