Alaska governor candidate Christopher Kurka chooses Paul Hueper as running mate

Two men stand behind a podium in front of a Kurka campaign sign
Paul Hueper, left, of Homer and candidate for governor Rep. Christopher Kurka, R-Wasilla, on Monday. (Screen capture from Kurka for Governor Facebook page)

Wasilla Republican Rep. Christopher Kurka on Monday announced Paul Hueper as his lieutenant governor candidate in his bid to be Alaska’s next governor.

Back in April, Hueper made the news when his house in Homer was raided by the FBI after investigators mistakenly identified his wife as a participant in the Capitol riot.

Kurka made the announcement Monday night at an event in Wasilla.

Hueper and his wife Marilyn own the Homer Inn and Spa. Hueper described himself as a spirit-filled Christian and said he wants to be an immovable rock in his principles. He also said that if oppression from the federal government doesn’t change, Alaska will evolve into “the next Cuba.”

“If we don’t wake up, we’re going to lose this republic, but more importantly we’re going to lose this country of Alaska,” Hueper said. “We really are our own country. We have to start thinking in terms of independence from the federal government.”

Hueper has said he and his wife went to Washington, D.C. for the Jan. 6, 2021 protest and went to the Capitol lawn, but did not go inside the building. Hueper described the raid on their house and said seven guns were pointed at his head. He also described how the couple has since appeared on national conservative media outlets.

Hueper criticized Gov. Mike Dunleavy for health mandates early in the pandemic, and he said Alaskans are tired of compromise. He spoke in support of the Pebble Mine.

And he criticized the current system for selecting judges in the state, particularly the appointees of the Alaska Bar Association on the council that nominates judicial candidates for the governor to choose from.

“Since when does the fox get to guard the henhouse?” Hueper said.

Kurka said one of the primary reasons he chose Hueper is what he described as a shared passion for election integrity.

“Because of the incredible role that the lieutenant governor has in overseeing the Division of Elections, we have to have somebody who is dedicated to cleaning up the disaster that has become our Division of Elections,” he said.

Candidates for governor have until June 1 to choose their running mates.

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Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.