Election filing deadline reveals crowded statewide races

man standing at counter
Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, was one of the last candidates to file for office at the Division of Elections in Anchorage Wednesday. He’s challenging Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska has crowded statewide elections this year, with at least 10 people running for governor, 20 for U.S. Senate and 31 candidates running for the new U.S. House term that starts in January.

Wednesday was the candidate filing deadline at the Division of Elections. With new district boundaries, the legislative races carried a greater degree of uncertainty this year.

One of the last to file paperwork in the Anchorage office of the Division of Elections was Rep. Matt Claman, a Democrat now running for state Senate. He said he filed at the last minute because he was trying to coordinate with other candidates.

“I didn’t want to not run for my state House seat without confidence there was a good candidate running to take my seat in the state House,” he said.

Claman is challenging incumbent Republican Mia Costello.

Elections clerk Deborah Moody-Herrera counted out loud the final seconds as the clock ticked toward 5 p.m, then shut off the light and locked the office door.

The primary election is Aug. 16. The top four candidates in each race will advance to the November general.

Most or all of the legislative races have four or fewer competitors, so the primary will serve mainly to trim the list of statewide candidates.

Two hours after the deadline, the Division of Elections had not yet produced a final candidate list, so the number of candidates could still grow.

[Sign up for Alaska Public Media’s daily newsletter to get our top stories delivered to your inbox.]

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage.

Previous articleAlaska News Nightly: Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Next articleAnchorage Assembly postpones vote on process for removing mayor