Today at the Palmer Senior Center, Representative Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak) announced that he is running for the open state senate seat for District F in the Mat-Su Valley.
While there has been speculation about whether Stoltze would choose to run or not, this is the first time he has made any comments publicly. The announcement was made to a packed house, including the Mat-Su borough mayor Larry DeVilbiss, borough manager John Moosey, and Stoltze’s mother. The Palmer Senior Center is a bit of a touchstone for Rep. Stoltze, as he helped secure the funding for it.
Stoltze is a lifelong Alaskan, who served as staff for the state legislature from 1982-2002. The following year, he was elected on the Republican ticket and has served as a state representative from 2003 through to today. Stoltze currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Finance committee.
Outside of Juneau, he serves as the Vice-President, Chugiach Eagle River Chinooks, Eagle Boosters, is a board member of the Special Olympics, and a Charter member of the Chugiak Lyons Elks Lodge #2682, and a life member of the Chugiak Senior Center, where he made his announcement today.
In his last campaign for reelection to the state house in 2012, Stoltze earned an endorsement from Alaska Right to Life and the Sportsman Conservative Alliance, was the 2011 Agriculture Legislator of the year, and boasts an A+ rating from the NRA.
This session, he’s been active pushing a constitutional amendment to make the office of Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor an elected office.
Stoltze enters two opponents vying for seat on the GOP ballot. Current Palmer Mayor DeLena Johnson and Edna Devries, a longtime Palmer resident who also served as mayor during the ’80s.
With the legislative session halfway over, there are not details yet as to why Rep. Stoltze chose this moment to announce his intention to run. Nor how it may affect his decisions going forward with the remaining half of the legislative session.
Whoever wins will square off against the underdog Democratic challenger, Patricia Chesbro.