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The 2013 election could be confusing with all of the early publicity about candidates for the 2014 ballot.
The Alaska Senate seat filled by Mark Begich, for example, won't be on a fall ballot; that's next year. Neither will the names of anticipated challengers — Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller, to name two.
Instead, names like Dick Coose and Matt Olsen might be on the ballot. Coose and Olsen fill seats on the Ketchikan City Council. That body has no term limits, which means either or both could seek re-election for another three years.
Of course, someone else might have something to say about whether they're the people's choice. Challengers will be welcome.
Ketchikan needs at least six candidates from throughout the borough to fill all of the seats that will be open.
In addition to the Council, the Borough Assembly and the Ketchikan School Board will have two seats each on the ballot.
The Assembly seats slated for the ballot are filled by Alan Bailey and Bill Rotecki; Ginny Clay and Dave Timmerman occupy School Board seats, which will be on the fall ballot. Clay is School Board president. Timmerman serves as vice president. Asked about their intent to seek re-election, both Clay and Timmerman indicated they hadn't made a final decision. Clay, however, as might be expected from the board's leader, encouraged anyone interested to file for a seat on the board.
Olsen and Rotecki remain undecided on whether to seek re-election. Bailey and Coose plan to place their names on the ballot.
Candidates for City Council must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 and have lived in Ketchikan for one year. Assembly candidates must be borough residents for a year before the Oct. 1 election day, and 30 days is the requirement for filing for School Board.
Ketchikan has several thousand possible candidates. In an average election year, less than .001 percent ask that their name be placed on the ballot. While it's unheard of and highly unlikely to get even 1 percent, the community certainly has plenty of potential elected officials.
It takes a genuine interest in serving the public, a gratifying, but perhaps too frequently a thankless, job. Time is required to review agenda and other materials before each meeting, and often additional duties, such as committee meetings, are part of the package. Voters appreciate candidates with a sense of fairness and common sense, too.
That said, there's still several thousand possible candidates, and Clay, along with others in local leadership, encourage all comers. In addition to everything else that can be said about serving, it will be rewarding for those who are interested.
Filing begins Aug. 1 and ends at noon Aug. 26 at borough and city offices.