Just a few days after a candidate dropped out the race for two seats on the Homer City Council and left two incumbents unopposed, one Homer resident is mounting a write-in campaign. Connor Schmidt is hoping to insert himself into the race as a younger progressive candidate.
The 25-year-old said he had wanted officially file to run for city council before the August deadline, but decided against it when city council member Donna Aderhold filed for re-election and Deb Lowney jumped in the race.
“I had wanted to run in the past and after Deb Lowney dropped out, I saw an opportunity arise to where I wouldn’t be splitting the progressive vote,” he said.
After Lowney dropped out, that left Aderhold and council member Heath Smith, who is also running for re-election, unopposed.
Schmidt moved to Homer from Denver two years ago where he worked to connect Hispanic families with government services. Schmidt said Homer’s contentious recall election in 2017 is what sparked his interest in running for city council.
“I hadn’t had that interest prior to that occurrence. Over the past year or so, kind of watching the proclamation for Pride month was really shocking as well and really frustrating. I had felt that our city council had failed people in recognizing them for who they are. That’s not something that I’m ok with,” Schmidt explained, “and realized that we needed someone who was young as well. That’s not something that our council has.”
Schmidt is a political new comer, but he said his experience with Green Dot Alaska, a domestic violence prevention program, and the Youth Resource & Enrichment Co-op in Homer have helped form his platform.
He said he would be interested in revisiting a ban on plastic bags and said he’s interested in the future of the Homer Education and Recreation Complex or HERC. Schmidt said he still needs to dig through all the possibilities for the property, but he would like to see the building provide a recreation space for younger kids.
“We already have the R.E.C. Room for middle school and up, but for the younger kids and parents, that’s a difficult time for them to find child care and things like that,” he said.
Schmidt will not officially appear on the ballot on Oct. 2, but Homer voters will be able to write his name in as they cast their ballots.