I am currently the best, most qualified and experienced candidate for this civic duty. I feel compelled to offer my services to fulfill this role.
I was born in Kentucky and came to Alaska in 1979 with my father, who ultimately was pursuing his dream of being a big game hunting and fishing safari guide in our great state. I enjoyed growing up in the woods learning survival and subsistence skills from him. We lived a few years in Anchorage before moving to Wasilla in December 1983. We had a small farm, training horses for competitive jumping and hunting. I finished with honors in the Class of 1988 at Wasilla High School and enrolled at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) that same Fall. I majored in Political Science (BA program) and International Business (BBA program). I minored in Theatre, and Scandinavian Studies.
As I approached the end of my undergraduate studies in 1994, I discovered I was about nine credits short of an Economics degree. As much as I loved my college experience, after six years and pursuing two degree programs financed on my own, I was tired of being broke and decided it was time to enter the workforce.
During my tenure at UAF, I was very active in university politics and governance. As a freshman I promptly joined UAF’s student government, the Associated Students of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (ASUAF), and was later elected as the (student body) ASUAF president. I was also heavily involved in UAF theatre productions, and Student Media, Inc, which held the license for KSUA FM, the on-campus student radio station. My political activity culminated at UAF as I served as the Student Regent on the statewide UA Board of Regents. It was during those formative years that I was first exposed to Juneau, the Alaska Legislature, Alaska politics, and advocating for students and the University as a whole.
In the Fall of 1996, I began my legislative experience as a legislative aide working with well-known Fairbanks representatives and senators. Since then, I have developed a reputation for being an excellent researcher, presenter, and overall shepherd of legislation. I have worked behind the scenes for over 20 years helping legislators and staff make key decisions on a wide array of policy and budget areas. I know the system well, including its players and pitfalls, what to do and when to do it. Former legislators with whom I have worked helped teach me discernment. I must give a great deal of credit to Senator Gary Stevens of Kodiak for teaching me grace, patience and wisdom.
It must be clearly noted that over the years I have primarily worked in the legislature only when they have been in session, usually from January-April. I have preferred it that way and very much embrace the notion of the “citizen-legislator,” who does not make a year-round nor long-term career out of being elected. I support term limits.
In the summer 1991, I began what has now become a 28-year career in the private sector of tourism in Fairbanks. In the summer months, I have developed as a commentator and follow-up retail gold sales at the Fairbanks tourist attractions known as El Dorado Gold Mine and Gold Dredge 8. In those capacities I have featured historical narratives for large audiences about placer gold mining in the area, as well as a narrative on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and oil economics in Alaska, touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of visitors to our State.
Over the years, and simultaneous with my other work projects, my wife and I ran a small vacation rental (B&B) business and long-term rental property businesses. We peaked at managing 16 rental units, hosting a B&B mansion, and supervised a staff of five. Though we chose to downsize, we continue to pursue real estate investment projects in the Fairbanks area.
Recreationally, I have traveled much of the world in my off-seasons, continue to hunt and fish when I can, have a long-running passion for wood-working, custom water fountains, archery, wild-bird rehabilitation and falconry, and otherwise try to enjoy as much time as I can with my wife and family.
Thus, I have studied, lived and worked largely in this District my entire adult life, since the Fall 1988. I know Fairbanks and this District very well. I would be honored to apply my skills and legislative experience to represent you in Juneau. This is a public service and a civic obligation, for which I am compelled to offer my services as the most qualified and experienced candidate. I ask for the honor of your vote and will serve this district and Alaska effectively and proudly.