Alaska in Brief

Q&A with Alaska Senate District L candidate Ken McCarty

By: - July 28, 2022 12:18 am
The Senate chambers are seen at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

The Senate chambers are seen at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

The Alaska Beacon asked Alaska’s legislative candidates to answer a 15-question survey about their positions on a variety of issues. Read all of their responses here. Answers have not been edited.

Ken McCarty, Republican candidate from Eagle River

Yes/No questions

The Alaska Constitution allows legislators to call a constitutional convention at any time. Are you interested in calling a convention?


Would you be willing to join a coalition majority in which the opposite political party controls a majority of seats?


Should new public employees have access to a pension?


Should the state take over the federal permitting process that regulates construction in wetlands?


Should Juneteenth be a state holiday?


Open-ended questions

How should the state of Alaska set the amount of the Permanent Fund dividend each year?

Based on the original formula that existed until 2016 alterations in the Statute. Currently there are two formulas at the same time, which leaves it to the opinion of the legislature to use a formula which appears to be benefit the state rather the residents.

What’s the biggest need in your district, and how would you address it?

The biggest need is a stable economy. People are anxious about the future with the cost of living and winter is coming.

What policies and laws should Alaska follow with regard to abortion?

I believe in a Heart Beat Bill.

How should the state reduce the threat of gun violence and mass shootings?

The stability of society is in the respect of its neighbors with one another. Violence by whatever means is not appropriate. Values, morals, and societal norms should be accepted or there are appropriate consequences for those who do not. I do not believe that guns create violence rather the inappropriate user of the gun.

How much should a legislator’s faith or religion determine state law and policy?

Our country and state was established on faith based principles and morals. Elected legislators who hold to such values are elected to make wise decisions, which could be influenced by the values which they hold premise. I fully accept our societal value of “In God We Trust.”

What should the state do to improve retention of public employees, including teachers?

There are a multitude of issues regarding retention. Efficacy and morale on the job has major impacts upon teachers and public employees. Systems that work rather antiquated systems which makes the workforce challenging. Pension has been a concern for years, but one that is beneficial to the employer and employee. Housing options is another consideration of retention, like leased housing owned by the state but upon 20+ years of service that the teacher or trooper gets to own the house. There are many issues to consider regarding retention.

What does an ideal state ferry system look like?

As a former resident of Kodiak who has been on the ferry several times, we need a system which is open for transportation of goods as well as moving of people. The system should be cost effective and innovative. The Southeast has a strong need for the Alaska Marine Hwy and we should honor it. Another consideration is the use of nuclear energy on the ferry system to reduce fuel costs.

What, if any, changes does the state need to make to ensure voting is equitable and secure?

Several changes needs to happen from ending Rank Choice voting in February 2023 to securing the voter roles to assuring the poll voting methods are accurate to verifying all voters are the allowed participant to vote.

What do you intend to do about the poor returns of salmon in the Yukon and Kuskokwim drainages, and what are the main causes of the problems?

This is a significant question regarding ecology, stewardship of resources, cyclical events and phenomenon, and international intrusions. I am very passionate about food security. Subsistence living is a major part of Alaska culture. Historically it also means adapting to changes rather entitlement. I will be following these issues very closely, as I have already been researching and inquiring from many.

What constitutional amendments, if any, do you support?

Three concerns are: elections, PFD, and education. As a Statute concern there are many. I am concerned about the language that defines residency. We are experiencing people who come to Alaska and claim residency privileges when they are not fully released themselves of former state residency status. I know of some who have claimed benefits within two weeks of coming to Alaska. Just as the PFD, I believe that residency should have a anticipated time frame of existence in the state.

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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].