Three candidates are now planning to run against Homer Rep. Paul Seaton in the 2018 Republican primaries. Anchor Point resident John Cox was the first to file his letter of intent in July of last year.
Two other contenders filed their letters of intent last week. Kasilof resident Robert Ruffner filed Wednesday and Homer resident Sarah Vance filed Tuesday.
Ruffner currently sits on the state Board of Fisheries and served as the director of the Kenai Watershed Forum for 18 years. Ruffner is a registered Republican, but according to the Anchorage Daily News, he was registered as a Democrat until 2015.
Vance has never held public office, but she did run for a seat on the Homer City Council last October. She was also involved in a political action committee that sought to remove three Homer City Council members from their seats last summer. Vance was the political group’s spokesperson.
Seaton filed his letter of intent last summer. Neither Vance or Ruffner have run in the district previously.
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. Seaton has held his seat since 2002.
This comes after local and state Republican party leaders tried to block Seaton from running in this year’s primaries, but the state division of elections rejected the move. GOP leadership was upset that Seaton joined several Democrats to form the current majority House coalition, taking control away from Republicans in the House in 2016.