Meet the assembly candidates for Eagle River and Chugiak

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The race for an Anchorage Assembly seat representing Eagle River and Chugiak is down to two candidates after a third dropped out in late March.

Assembly Member Fred Dyson has chosen not to run for reelection in 2020, and the race for his seat representing Eagle River and Chugiak is now down to two members. In many ways what the race comes down to is how these candidates feel about the current direction of the Anchorage Assembly.

One candidate, Stephany Jeffers, has said she’s mostly supportive of the Assembly’s priorities.

“I want to make certain that work continues,” she said. “And make sure that there’s someone running who will serve as a good teammate for them.”

Jeffers said she wants to help the Assembly tackle issues like crime, homelessness, and climate change. She pointed to statistics from the Anchorage Police Department showing crime coming down in every major category except sexual assault.

She also said she’d like to help reduce the Municipality’s reliance on property taxes for revenue.

“I just want to make certain that we’re not putting the entire weight of running the municipality on property owners,” she said.

Jeffers’s opponent, Jamie Allard, said she’s less excited about the direction the city, and the assembly, are headed.

“I think we need to reign in our budget,” she said. “Mayor Berkowitz from 2015 to currently raised our budget almost $82 million.”

Allard said she wants to cut back on government spending and crackdown on smaller crimes, which she said she believes would help to reduce homelessness and larger crime in the municipality.

“I know that my community would like to see four police officers,” she said. “And I think they would be absolutely happy if we could get five of them out here.”

She also said she supports taking care of the environment by picking up trash, though, on the larger issue of climate change, she disagrees with the assembly’s climate action plan about the cause.

“I believe in global warming,” she said. “I don’t think man has done that.”

Voters may also notice a third name on the ballot for Eagle River. Candidate Roger Branson ran as a single-issue candidate, advocating for the improvement of mental health services and the treatment of people who use those services.

“I’m not asking people to vote for me,” he said. “I’m asking them to vote for the person they think will best help the people I serve heal.”

Branson announced in late March he was dropping out of the race, citing health concerns, and endorsing Stephany Jeffers, leaving just two candidates left for Dyson’s open seat.

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