(Chilkat Valley News file photo)
(Chilkat Valley News file photo)

Haines Republican Bill Thomas is signaling that he will withdraw from the race for House District 3, though he has not formally done it yet. 

Thomas, 77,  is a lifelong Chilkat Valley resident and served as an Alaska State House member from 2005 to 2012. He registered as a candidate for the seat on May 29. 

But after just over two weeks on the ballot,  Thomas told friends and supporters that campaigning takes up a lot of time and it interferes with the commercial fishing season. In a recent Juneau Empire interview, Thomas said his boat is having a lot of mechanical issues delaying his ability to start fishing. 

The Alaska Public Offices Commission still has him listed on its website as a candidate as does the state’s Division of Elections. Election’s Program Manager Brian Jackson confirmed Thomas’ withdrawal, saying that he spoke to Thomas by phone. 

But, Jackson said his office has not yet received the official paperwork from Thomas to withdraw from the Aug. 20 primary. Candidates have until June 29 to do so. 

Thomas’ opponent, incumbent Democrat Andi Story, will join the two other unopposed Juneau candidates, Sen. Jesse Keihl and Rep Sara Hannan. 

Thomas refused an interview request but Story says she still has a lot of work to do. 

“I wish Bill [Thomas] well in the future. He is a valuable member of the community,” she said. 

Story, 65, said she is working on scheduling a visit to Haines to meet people and get to know them. 

Francisco Martínezcuello is the Chilkat Valley News summer reporter. Previously, he was in Southwest Alaska working for KYUK Public Media as a News Reporting Fellow from November 2022 through January...