The Ketchikan Daily News welcomed Gov. Mike Dunleavy to its offices on Friday.
Before then, former Gov. Bill Walker recently came by, and former legislator Les Gara stopped in, too.
All three are candidates for governor for the next four years.
Dunleavy, of course, is the Republican incumbent. Walker is registered nonpartisan, while Gara is Democrat.
Alaska’s congressional delegation and Ketchikan’s legislators also participate in regular interviews with the Daily News.
And, during an election year, they and their opponents generally seek out the newspaper.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski is seeking re-election. Twenty-one Alaskans have filed to be challengers.
Sen. Bert Stedman has a single opponent, while Ketchikan Borough Assemblyman Jeremy Bynum has decided to challenge Rep. Dan Ortiz. Ortiz also has a Wrangell-based opponent in the District 1 race.
The state recently held a special primary election to replace the late Congressman Don Young.
Forty-eight candidates contended for the opportunity to be in the August runoff of the top four finishers, which are likely to be former Gov. Sarah Palin, Anchorage businessman Nick Begich, physician Al Gross and Native leader Mary Peltola. Palin and Begich are Republicans; Gross is registered nonpartisan, and Peltola, Democrat.
Now that that crowd is thinned, the Daily News will reiterate its policy in regard to candidates.
They’re all welcome.
The newspaper’s news staff will accommodate any candidates who would like to arrange time for an interview. This is considered a public service, as well as what newspapers do in their role as informants to the public and serving the republic in a way that supports its democratic form of government. The paper’s readers often depend on the stories resulting from the interviews to become informed about their choices for elected office.
This practice applies to both statewide and local candidates.
Upcoming this fall, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough will have its mayoral position, which is currently occupied by Rodney Dial, and two Assembly positions on the ballot. David Landis and Austin Otos are in those seats.
The Ketchikan School Board seats on the ballot presently are occupied by Bridget Mattson and Jordan Tabb.
Three Ketchikan City Council seats will be on the ballot. They are filled by Judy Zenge, Mark Flora and Lallette Kistler. Kistler received an appointment to the position last November after David Kiffer, a councilman at the time, was elected mayor.
Local incumbents who wish to retain their seats and challengers will begin filing as candidates between Aug. 1 and 25 for an Oct. 4 election. Filing forms will be available July 1 — in a matter of less than two weeks.
The statewide primary is on Aug. 16, and will be followed by the Nov. 8 general election.
By then, Alaska will have had seven months of campaigns and election stories.
But currently, candidates are telling their stories in appeal for the public’s trust. We’ll see what they have to say.