Anchorage resident Alyse Galvin is one of two candidates who is trying to unseat U.S. House Rep. Don Young this fall. Galvin was in Homer Friday and Saturday meeting with potential voters, and ended her visit with a Q&A session at Alice’s Champagne Palace Saturday morning. Aside from hot-topic policy questions, there was an emphasis on the odds of her unseating the longest sitting member in Congress.
Galvin is an education advocate who spent the last four years with the advocacy group Great Alaska Schools, and she’s making the rounds around the state in hopes of convincing Alaskans that she is the one to unseat Young.
“It’s important that you recognize that this is a serious campaign,” Galvin told the roughly 40 southern Kenai Peninsula residents who came, with a handful of others filtering in and out.
Galvin is an independent, but she plans to run in the Democratic primary in August. She advocated for responsible resource development, moving towards more renewable energy and increased education funding.
Although her belief system aligns mostly with the Democratic Party, Galvin said running as an independent gives her an advantage with a large swath of undeclared Alaskan voters.
When asked about running against an experienced politician like Young, Galvin branded herself as a political-outsider that will focus on the issues.
“Am I concerned about any issue that he may bring up that I won’t know about? It’s possible. I’m not a life-long 44-year politician,” she said.
Campaign funding was naturally a part of the conversation, and one resident questioned whether Galvin would accept contributions from the National Rifle Association, a hot-button topic following the most recent school shooting in Florida.
Before answering the question, Galvin explained her stance on gun control. She favors tightening up background checks and sales at gun shows, but she also advocated for more research on the issue before any policies are made.
“What I know more than anything is that we have this much national information on gun control, which levers are the right ones. It’s a very complicated issue,” she added.
Galvin didn’t directly say whether she would accept NRA donations, but she did say it would be unlikely that the NRA would support her campaign.
“I cannot imagine the NRA ever, after what you just heard, I can’t imagine them ever giving me money,” Galvin said as she circled back to the question.
Galvin said her campaign hopes to raise about $1.4 million. She added that it’s raised about $125,000 so far, but the Federal Election Commission does not have any financial reports on Galvin yet. According to the latest campaign finance report on Young, he has about $450,000 on hand.
Aside from the viability of her campaign, Galvin fielded questions about some of her other priorities such as healthcare. She said although she may differ from Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski several issues, she thinks adding another woman to Alaska’s congressional delegation could bridge that gap.
“I would start with that meeting of ok, where can we meet together on certain issues that I care about? Healthcare for example. I think it’s critical that we start with that. We can’t afford not to,” She said.
Galvin labeled healthcare as the most immediate issue for Alaskans, who pay some of the some of the highest insurance premiums in the country. She didn’t outline a detailed policy for handling mounting premiums, but Galvin said that the U.S. should look to other healthcare models around the world.
Galvin said she aims to have similar meetings around the state, particularly in roadless and remote communities, leading up to the primary. So far, she’s scheduled to be in Juneau on March 2 and 3.