Republican candidates for Lt. Governor debate at Anchorage forum

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Four candidates for lieutenant governor who will face-off in the Republican primary squared off in a debate in Anchorage Thursday evening.

The Anchorage Republican Women's Club hosted the event, calling it the Vision for Victory Series.

Edie Grunwald has never held office, but after her son David Grunwald's murder in 2016, she says she set out to fix what she sees is wrong with the state.

"I love Alaska and I hate the direction that our state has been heading,” Grunwald said. “Our resource-wealthy state has historic unemployment rates. And it's one of only two states in recession."

Sharon Jackson, a U.S. Army Veteran, and constituent liaison for Sen. Dan Sullivan is campaigning on a pro-business platform.

"I believe small business is the backbone of our country and community,” Jackson said. “If they're not doing well, our country is suffering."

Sen. Kevin Meyer has served in the Alaska State Senate for nine years.

"We need a republican governor, we need reforms, reforms being a spending cap, a restructure, centralizing our support systems into one," Meyer said.

And Lynn Gattis is a lifelong Alaskan who served as a representative in the state legislature.

"Yes, we have government that needs improvement, and I support a smaller government,” Gattis said. “When we look at what we spent pre-oil, vs. what we're spending now, we're a very different Alaska."

Two other republican candidates campaigning for lieutenant governor — Alaska State Senator Gary Stevens and military veteran Stephen Wright, were not included in tonight's debate.

The Anchorage Republican Women's Club said they chose tonight's candidates based on polling.

Other topics of debate included the repeal of SB91, constitutionally required state spending limits, raising the minimum wage, and imposing work requirements for people on Medicaid.

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