A Petersburg man is running as a Republican write-in candidate for the state house seat representing Petersburg, Sitka and other Southeast communities. He also ran for governor this year and as a write-in candidate for state senate two years ago.
62-year-old Michael Sheldon of Petersburg has registered to run as a write-in candidate for the House district 35 seat. He’s running against two candidates from Sitka, retired surgeon and Republican Richard Wein and Democratic three-term incumbent Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.
Sheldon is a handyman. He’s also worked for the Alaska Marine Highway and as a fisherman and mechanic. His first foray into state politics was an unsuccessful write-in campaign for state Senate he launched one month before the 2016 election. Sheldon ran for governor this year on the platform of outlawing abortion in the state and not allowing the permanent fund to be used to pay for state government.
“If we have a new governor and Mr. Dunleavy wins the ticket for the Republican party I’ll work hard with him to be able to keep the Permanent Fund permanent so that all people will be able to enjoy it for generations to come,” Sheldon said. “And as far as abortion is concerned, I support bills to stop abortion in the state of Alaska. I think that’s important that even today as we speak five babies have been destroyed. And that’s our future generation and we cannot be doing this. We cannot be taking out our future generations because they’re the ones that are going to pick up the torch that we leave behind for them.”
Sheldon came in third in the Republican primary with 1,640 votes. He wants to cut state government spending said he can be a strong voice for the district.
“The people need to know that they’re going to have a representative that’s going to be there for them, speak the voice for Alaska,” Sheldon said. “I know that when I spoke in these forums and meetings we had for governor that many people and came up to me and said Mike, you have a powerful message. You weren’t scripted, you spoke from your heart and we support you.”
Sheldon’s former wife in 2007 applied for and was granted a domestic violence protective order after the two had divorced. Sheldon said he is not a violent person and loves God. He does not think that this part of his past should be brought up in reporting on him as a candidate.
“Oh it was just that I loved my wife dearly and tried to get her back and after 31 years of knowing each other she decided to move on,” he said. “There was nothing there. It was a no fault divorce. I’m happily married now and she’s happily married and we’ve moved on and everything was good and kosher there so there was nothing serious about that OK.”
In running for the House seat, Sheldon has a website, and is circulating fliers and yard signs. He says he traveled to other communities in his campaign for governor and will rely on people he knows around the district to help spread the word about his write-in candidacy.
The other two candidates Kreiss-Tomkins and Wein welcome another candidate in the race.
“You know it’s wonderful to live in a Democracy and the beauty of that is most people can stand up and run and so, it’s something I need to encourage and not discourage,” Wein said.
“In a certain sense the more the merrier,” Kreiss-Tomkins said. “I really welcome Michael’s candidacy against me just as he ran against Senator Stedman a couple years ago and I know he feels really strongly on a couple of issues and has a constituency there so I’m sure it will only add to the conversation.”
The conversation continues with several candidate forums in Sitka this month.