Race for Northwest Arctic and North Slope House seat heats up

Ely Cyrus (left) and Elizabeth Ferguson have both filed to run for the House District 40 legislative seat. (Photos courtesy of Ely Cyrus and Elizabeth Ferguson)

The race for the legislative seat representing the Northwest Arctic and North Slope regions of Alaska has become competitive. 

Late last month, Elizabeth Ferguson of Kotzebue filed to run for House District 40 in this year’s election. Ferguson is a former legislative aide for Rep. John Lincoln, I-Kotzebue. Lincoln announced in February that he would not seek reelection this year, citing family commitments. Ferguson also served as the first youth representative on the Native Village of Kotzebue tribal council. 

The other candidate for Lincoln’s seat is Ely Cyrus of Kiana, who filed in November. Cyrus was a longtime member of the village of Kiana Tribal Council and Kiana City Council who also served on the Board of Directors for NANA Regional Native Corporation. He currently serves as City Administrator for the city of Kiana. 

Donny Olson of Golovin, who represents the Northwest Arctic and North Slope Boroughs in the state senate, has also filed for reelection. He is currently running unopposed.

The deadline for candidates who wish to run for the Legislature is June 1. Alaska’s primary election will be held on August 18.

Wesley Early is a reporter with Alaska Public Media, covering municipal politics and Anchorage life.

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