Alaska Republican Party

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game

A candidate that was set to run against Homer Rep. Paul Seaton in this year’s Republican primary has dropped out. Robert Ruffner announced on his Facebook page Friday that he’s ending his bid to represent House District 31 in the state Legislature.

Ruffner filed his letter of intent to run in late March.

He currently sits on the Alaska Board of Fisheries. In his announcement Friday, Ruffner said his service on the board is a better fit for him and his family. He says spending time his wife and children is his primary reason for pulling out of the race.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the City of Homer

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.  

John Cox

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.”

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

The Alaska Division of Elections has denied the Alaska Republican Party’s request to block three incumbent House Republicans from running in the party’s 2018 primaries.

The party wrote a letter to the division on Dec. 4 asking that Homer Rep. Paul Seaton, Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak be blocked from the primary ballot as a repercussion for violating a party rule against caucusing with other political parties when there’s a Republican majority.

Skip Gray, 360 North

After a recent move to block District 31 House Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer and two other House representatives from next year’s Republican primaries, which the state has denied, district party leaders on the southern Kenai Peninsula are actively recruiting candidates to run against Seaton next fall.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska Republican Party leaders voted Saturday to block Homer Rep. Paul Seaton, Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak from running in the party’s 2018 primaries.  

All three representatives joined Democrats and independents last fall to form a bipartisan coalition, taking control of the House away from Republicans. The Republican Party’s state central committee said that violated a party rule about caucusing with other political parties and that the legislators misled voters when the joined the coalition.