By Dave Donaldson
Former House Speaker John Harris has withdrawn his name from the list of candidates running in the Republican gubernatorial primary this year.
Harris filed for the office immediately after Ex-Governor Sarah Palin resigned from the office last July. He says the party now has three other strong candidates in the race, and he still has a job to do for his district this year.
There’s a lot of work to still be done. I still have a number of things that I want to get accomplished. And I know that in Valdez, Glenallen, Delta, Salcha Eilson — I’m very concerned about Eilson Air Force Base still, and I’ve also been concerned about the outskirts of Palmer, the Sutton-Chickaloon area. They all have things that I want to do. I want to try to do stuff for the school districts as well as fire departments — volunteer fire departments, a number of things like that.
That leaves three primary candidates for the party’s gubernatorial nomination — Governor Parnell, former-House Majority Leader Ralph Samuels, and Anchorage attorney Bill Walker. Also, Gerald Heikes and Sam Little have filed for the race. Harris says he does not plan to endorse or work for any of those still running.
I don’t think it’s good policy to try and nit-pick and bring somebody down whether you agree with them or disagree with them or like them or not like them. I think it’s more important to try and get together on the things you can agree on make them happen.
He says he likes Bill Walker’s position on the All-Alaska gas line and hopes that idea is successful. Samuels was Majority Leader when Harris was speaker, and he considers him to be a good friend. And he says Governor Parnell has taken some steps that are not far from what he has advocated in the past.
He says he has not ruled out running for re-election to the House this fall. Valdez mayor Bert Cottle has already filed to run for the seat in the Democratic primary this summer.