Primary Profile: Paul Seaton
Paul Seaton has been serving in the Alaska House of Representatives for more than a decade, representing House District 31. Before he got into politics, he was a commercial fisherman and small business owner and continues to operate businesses while serving in the Legislature. He considers himself a moderate and says voters should choose him over his two challengers because his years of experience will help him contribute to finding a fair and equitable solution for the state’s fiscal crisis.
Rep. Paul Seaton, known for his trademark fisherman’s cap and silver beard, has served in the Legislature for 14 years. Seaton says he brings a moderate voice to the polarized legislature.
“Well I think it is really important for the legislature to have people that propose solutions to problems and that also bring a moderate voice,” said Seaton.
The 70-year-old grew up in California and moved to Alaska in 1975, eventually settling in Kachemak City. Seaton has masters degrees in teaching and zoology. He taught science while starting his fishing career.
Seaton has served as chair for a number of committees, including State Affairs, Education and Fisheries. In addition, he’s ser ved as co-chair for the House Resources Committee, which deals with oil and gas issues and fishing, among other things. But he says he’s most proud of his recent chairmanship of the Health and Social Services Committee and his work to improve the health of Alaskans.
Seaton is also well-known for advocacy for vitamin D supplementation and its positive health benefits.
At a recent public candidate forum, Seaton said he believes in climate change and is an advocate for renewable energy to reduce the state’s carbon footprint. He also said he supports a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices and would not support defunding Planned Parenthood for providing abortion services. In addition, Seaton said he supports the state’s burgeoning marijuana industry.
As for the state’s biggest challenge, the looming budget crisis, Seaton says oil and gas tax credits must be cut. As for the rest of the solution, he says it must be fair and equitable.
“That’s been one of the struggles — if you just do the PFD, then you have the lower income, larger families, more rural people disproportionately impacted. If you just have an income tax, then you’re disproportionately impacting higher-income workers. And so when you combine the two of those together, then you get something that, across the spectrum of Alaskans, pretty much affects everyone equally,” said Seaton.
Seaton says cuts to government play a role in balancing the budget, but government can’t be cut back so much that the state cannot provide required services. He supports capping the PFD and instituting an income tax that is 15 percent of a person’s federal tax.
For more information on Seaton, visit votepaulseaton.com or check out his Facebook page. The Alaska primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 16.