Q&As with Alaska’s 2022 U.S. House candidates

The results of our primary-election candidate survey

By: - August 1, 2022 3:00 pm

The chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives are seen in 2017 in this photograph from the Office of the Speaker of the House. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Twenty-two candidates are running for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Aug. 16 primary election. Three of those 22 are also in the running to complete the term left unfinished by the death of Congressman Don Young earlier this year.

On one side of this year’s primary-election ballot are the 22 candidates seeking a full two-year term that begins in January. Voters will be asked to pick one of the 22, the results will be counted through Aug. 31, and the four candidates who have the most votes will advance to this year’s Nov. 8 general election.

On the opposite side of the ballot are the three finalists for the partial term: Nick Begich, Sarah Palin and Mary Peltola. Voters are being asked to rank the candidates in order of preference, first through third, with a spot for a write-in candidate as a fourth option. When the results are tallied Aug. 31 and the election certified in September, the winner will serve in Congress until January, when the winner of November’s election is seated.

Ahead of the primary, the Alaska Beacon collected questions from members of the public online and in person, asking voters what they wanted to know about this year’s candidates. We read those questions, picked our favorites, and added a few of our own. The result was a questionnaire with 15 questions — 10 open-ended and five multiple-choice — which we sent to the candidates’ listed email addresses on July 13.

We followed up with phone calls and emails on the week of July 25 and received written responses from 12 of the 22 candidates. You can see links to their responses below. The answers have not been edited.

In the coming days and weeks, we intend to reach out to candidates by phone and seek to talk to them verbally as well. Transcripts of those interviews will be attached here as they become available.

This sample ballot shows the front side of Alaska’s Aug. 16 primary election ballot for voters in House District 1, southern Southeast Alaska. Voters will be asked to pick one candidate in each of the primary elections. On the other side of the ballot is the state’s first ranked-choice election, a special election for U.S. House. (Division of Elections image)

Candidates

Jay Armstrong (Republican) — Responded in full

Nick Begich (R) — Did not respond

Gregg Brelsford (Undeclared) — Responded in full

Chris Bye (Libertarian) — Responded

Lady Donna Dutchess (Nonpartisan) — Responded in full

Ted Heintz (N) — Responded in full

David Hughes (U) — Did not respond

Davis L. LeBlanc (U) — Did not respond

Bob Lyons (R) — Responded in full

Sherry Mettler (U) — Responded

J.R. Myers (L) — Did not respond

Robert Ornelas (American Independence) — Did not respond

Sarah Palin (R) — Responded in full

Silvio Pellegrini (U) — Did not respond

Mary Peltola (Democratic) — Responded in full

Andrew Phelps (N) — Did not respond

Randy Purham (R) — Did not respond

Brad Snowden (R) — Did not respond

Sherry Strizak (U) — Responded in full

Tara Sweeney (R) — Responded

Denise Williams (R) — Did not respond

Tremayne Wilson (N) — Responded in full

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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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