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Thanks, but no thanks

Thank you, Carol “Kitty” Hafner, for your interest in serving as Alaska’s at-large representative in the United States Congress.

We know it’s taken some effort to become a candidate in the Alaska Democratic Party primary election on Aug. 21, running with fellow Democrat Dimitri Shein and independent candidates Alyse Galvin and Christopher Cummings for the chance to potentially challenge longstanding Republican Rep. Don Young.

You have a fine “Carol Hafner for Congress” campaign website, complete with a mountain photograph, an Alaska state map and several policy positions — some of which reference Alaska.

It’s nice that Alaska voters can see your website. We’ve never met you in Alaska and it appears we won’t be getting the chance, because, as you say, you’ve never been to Alaska and you don’t plan to campaign here in person.

Come to think of it, we Alaskans have known a few carpetbaggers over time. But all of those in recent memory actually set foot in Alaska —  you know, maybe they did a little work in the state, met some people and saw some things before offering to represent us in elected office.

Maybe that’s just old-school thinking. You, Carol Hafner, could be on the right track. Perhaps digitally barnstorming Alaska with just a website, Facebook page and a Twitter account is the way to go. And if Alaskans elect you, you’d never even have to visit Alaska — you were never here in the first place. Why spoil the fun by showing up?

But really, why Alaska?

You told The Associated Press that you want to do good in a place that you feel a kinship for.

We appreciate the desire to do good. Doing good seems to be disappearing from the public square.

Also appreciated are feelings of kinship, although we’re a little unsure how they developed. New Jersey and South Dakota — the locations of your home and a mail-drop address, respectively — aren’t in our geographic neighborhood.

Then again, Alaska reality TV shows like “Deadliest Catch,” Alaskan Bush People,” “Slednecks” and “Ice Road Truckers“ are virtually everywhere. We hear that lots of people get to “know” Alaska by watching those shows.

And, you’ve probably met some of the actual Alaskans who live, work and travel Outside. To meet us is to love us, we’re sure.

Whatever the motivations for becoming a candidate to represent Alaska in the U.S. House of Representatives are, a core requirement for doing the job well is possessing a good understanding of the people and the state in which they live. Spending time in Alaska doesn’t guarantee understanding of anything, but it is a great way to start the learning process.

Perhaps you’re serious about this candidacy. Perhaps it’s a skylark, or something else. The fact remains that you haven’t been here and you’ve no plans to show up.

So we’ll thank you again for offering your services, and hope that all Alaskans say “No thank you” at the polls.