Non-Affiliated candidate Marna Sanford runs for Alaska Senate seat B

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 4:10 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Non-Affiliated candidate Marna Sanford is running for Seat B on the Alaska State Senate. This seat is currently held by John Coghill, who, after being defeated in the Republican primary by Robert Myers, is not running for reelection.

Sanford said she is running because she has grown tired of waiting for the current legislature to make changes for a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan: “It’s been year after year where we have been told there’s doom and gloom coming, that we’re on the fiscal cliff, that changes will be made, and quite frankly, probably due to election cycles, probably due to difficulty in gaining consensus, there has not been, I think, the political motivation to make the types of changes that are needed.”

Sanford said she is laser-focused on a long-term financial plan for Alaska. “To me, that means that we have to take every single possible option that we have, and put it on the table. We cannot rely solely on one type of income for us.”

She gave credit to the legislature for passing the “Percent of Market Value”. "That has, in fact, changed the way that we have revenue coming into the state. In fact, that is now paying for more of our state government than oil and gas, or any of our other industry taxes. So that was a good first step, but there has not been an appetite in Juneau to further look at any additional new revenue sources, or in fact to invite industry to the table to talk about what their role is in playing a part for Alaskans, playing a part in solving this issue.

According to Sanford, “We have been good partners with industry for a number of years, [and] they must be included in the conversation. But Alaskans have to be included in that conversation too. Industry is finite, and for us to be looking at something that’s going to take care of our children, and our children’s children, I truly believe that the conversation needs to include some type of broad-based revenue.”

Sanford said there are clear differences between herself and her opponents. "I have the educational background and the experience that involves handling tough budgetary issues at the local level. I also have had great success in negotiating with people who don’t always agree with me, and that is something that I think is going to be critical moving into Juneau.

“I’m not making any promises about the Permanent Fund Dividend,” Sanford explained, adding, “My plan is to follow the law, but I do think that is part of the conversation, and I think any candidate that is promising certain things around how much Alaskans are going to get paid is going to have a hard time following through on those promises because the math isn’t going to be in their favor. And so I know that isn’t a popular position, but it’s the position supported by the actual facts.”

Sanford is running against Robert Myers and Evan Eads in the general election on November 3rd.

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