The deadline to enter Republican primaries around the state is just four months away, and in District 31, only one candidate has filed.
The Chair of the Alaska Republican Party, Tuckerman Babcock, said Republicans are busy trying to enlist other people to run from the Homer area.
“I have, and I know the local Republican Party activists in District 31 have been talking to lots of people about whether they will consider running," Babcock said. “We are very very focused on replacing Representative Paul Seaton.”
The Alaska Republican Party leaders were furious when Homer Rep. Paul Seaton joined a bipartisan coalition in 2016, taking control away from Republicans in the House. GOP leaders unsuccessfully tried to block Seaton and two other GOP House representatives back in December from running on the party’s ticket, but state election officials denied their request.
Anchor Point resident and navy veteran John Cox is the only Republican candidate in District 31 so far. Cox ran against Seaton in the 2016 primaries, taking 28 percent of the vote. Seaton won the primary and the election with 46 percent of the vote.
Babcock said the state party will support Cox, along with other Republican “party loyalists” who try to upset Seaton.
“The Alaska Republican Party is looking forward to the primary for the voters to choose which candidate will be the Republican candidate,” he said. “We just made it clear that Paul Seaton is not eligible to be one of those.”
He said Seaton won’t have access to any of the Republican Party’s resources such as its statewide or district voter registration databases.
For now, Republicans will continue to recruit candidates until the deadline on June 1.
“There's a long road between thinking about it and talking about it and actually filing a letter of intent or even fewer people get to the point where they actually file a declaration of candidacy,” he said.
The Alaska Division of Elections said most candidates file a couple of weeks prior to the deadline. The Republican Primary is on August 21.