Democrats will choose one of 9 candidates to replace Kerttula’s seat

The names are in and it looks like the Tongass Democrats will have a total of 9 candidates to choose from to fill the seat left vacant by House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula. The list will be whittled down to three based on interviews this weekend. Those names will then be sent to Gov. Sean Parnell by Feb. 4, who will make the decision.

Here are the names and the bios of the 9 candidates:

  • Ken Alper is owner of Silverbow Inn and Bakery with his wife Jill Ramiel. He has worked as an aide and oil and gas analyst for Rep. Kerttula and other House Democrats for the past nine years.
  • Nancy Barnes is executive assistant to the president and CEO of Huna Totem Corporation. She worked in the legislature for 26 years, serving both the House and Senate. She is Tsimshian and Alutiiq, president of Eyak Corporation, an Alaska Native Federation board member, Sealaska Heritage Institute trustee, and active in the Yees Ku Oo dance group.
  • James Betts is a 27 year resident of Juneau and owner of local business Betts Boat Repair. Dedicated to charity and value building in his community, he is presently the Alaska State Leader of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal and charitable organization.
  • Sara Hannan is a lifelong Alaskan. She has lived in Juneau the past 25 years and has taught for the Juneau School District for 18 years.
  • Jesse Kiehl is a lifelong Alaskan. He serves on the City and Borough Assembly and is a legislative aide. His 15-year history of civic involvement in Juneau is rooted in his passion to build a bright Alaska future for his two daughters.
  • Sam Kito III is a lifelong Alaskan with family roots in Petersburg. Born in Anchorage and raised in Fairbanks and Anchorage, he is a civil engineer and has worked on several projects throughout the state. He has lived in Juneau 18 of the past 22 years and is the proud parent of a 14-year-old freshman at JDHS.
  • Tim Lamkin is Alaska grown, with a background in outdoors, tourism, state politics and the education system. He has served as a legislative aide in the Capitol for the past 17 years, and during the tourism season has been a mining history commentator in Interior Alaska.
  • Kim Metcalfe is a fourth generation Alaskan and lifelong Juneauite. She currently works as a business agent for the Alaska State Employees Association representing members of the General Government Unit.
  • Catherine Reardon is a senior legislative aide. She formerly served as a Division Director for the Dept. of Commerce and as vice-chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.

Bruce Botelho chairs the selection committee. He told KTOO that interviews will revolve around basic meat and potatoes Democratic issues like education, health care, labor relations, and the state’s “fiscal future.”

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