Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Scott Hawkins, republican candidate for Governor in 2018, vowed to fix the state financial problems, improve schools and keep the capital in Juneau if elected.
Hawkins started his career as an economist for the state, then became a businessman, and head of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. Most recently he has started two successful businesses in the state and employs over 200 people.
Hawkins said he is running for Governor because the state is headed in the wrong direction, "Our current governor is a nice guy, but the policies are wrong. The voters know it. Two out of three Alaskans in recent polls said we are headed in the wrong direction with the economy, our fiscal situation, and crime."
Hawkins said he is a political newcomer and his position as an outsider should help in this election, "I was not part of the problem. I was not in the legislature when the spending spree occurred over multiple year. I haven't been apart of the bad policies put in place. The other two republican candidates are former or sitting legislators. I think its a bad year to run as a legislator."
Hawkins said the state earns $3 billion per year in interest in the Permanent Fund investments, more than enough to match the $2 billion fiscal gap and still hand out a healthy dividend to Alaska residents, higher than the $1,100 each Alaskan received this year.
Juneau said they must downsize government in a responsible manner. He said the state is not getting its moneys worth in schools. He said they are among the best funded and most under performing school systems in the nation. "I think we have to have more accountability and less fat in our school budgets and get back to basics."
Hawkins said he would keep the capital in Juneau but doesn't mind holding special sessions in Anchorage. He also vowed to live here and require his Commissioners to live in Juneau. "Juneau is the Capital City and state government is very important to Juneau. I think we need to be careful not to get carried away with capital creep. There is some benefit to holding special sessions in Anchorage. That might relieve some of the pressure and frustration that some other parts of the state has about accessibility to the capital. The capital has been in Juneau for over 100 years and should remain that way."
The other republican candidates for Governor are Mike Chenault and Charlie Huggins. Bill Walker, the incumbent Governor, is running as an independent.