Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Thomas hinting at run for legislature

 


Former state Rep. Bill Thomas, a Haines Republican, has indicated he may run again for the Alaska Legislature, and this week expressed interest in the state Senate seat held by Democrat Dennis Egan of Juneau.

Thomas has filed a letter of intent to run for state office in 2014, which is required for candidates to raise funds for a campaign. To appear on the ballot, Thomas would have to formally file as a candidate by June 1.

Thomas said he’s been speaking with Capital City Republicans, some who have urged him to run for a state House seat currently held by state Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau. He’s resistant to the idea, he said.

“I’ve been gone long enough, I’d have to start at the bottom. I don’t want to do that,” Thomas said in an interview Monday. He noted that fellow Republican Cathy Munoz of Juneau already holds his former seat as co-chair of the House Finance Committee, a powerful position.

Instead, Thomas said he’ll be watching Egan, who has been ill. Thomas said if Egan doesn’t intend to fill out another term, he shouldn’t seek office. Legislators who leave office before their terms expire are replaced by appointment with another member of their party.

“I want to make sure that if he’s going to run, he runs. If a person doesn’t want to serve, he shouldn’t run. A person shouldn’t run as a placeholder,” Thomas said. That’s only fair to voters, he said.

Egan said this week he was in good health, except for a foot infection, and that he plans to run for re-election and to serve another term. “Other than my foot, everything’s perfect. I have no intention of relinquishing my seat and giving it up to someone else. That’s not in my plans at all.”

Thomas held out the possibility he may choose not to run. “(Party officials in Juneau) might talk me out of doing anything. Who knows?”

Thomas was defeated in 2012 by Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. He served eight years in the House.

Kerttula and Egan have filed letters of intent to run in 2014. Kerttula did not specify in her filing which office she will seek.

Haines’ state House district includes downtown Juneau, Gustavus and Skagway.