FAIRBANKS, Alaska - As the General Election approaches, we spoke to both Senator Pete Kelly and Representative Scott Kawasaki, who are in a heated race for Senate Seat A. Senator Pete Kelly and Representative Scott Kawasaki are running to represent Fairbanks in the State Senate. Incumbent Kelly and Representative Kawasaki both have years of experience in legislature.
Incumbent Pete Kelly (R) said, "I'm part of that team and I want to go back and continue the work we're doing, so that everything that we did to get to this point to get us through these rough times isn't just lost."
Candidate Scott Kawasaki (D) said, "We've seen our permanent fund dividend decline. We've seen an increase in crime. We've seen an increase in the cost of health insurance and health care and an increase in the cost of energy. And quite frankly, I think Fairbanks can do better and I think Fairbanks deserves better."
They also spoke on what they are proud of accomplishing during their time in office.
Kelly said, "SB 74, which was the medicare reform, but there was also the power plant, that was something I took the lead on and we were able to get the power plant at the university. But actually, I do somethings down there that are not related to the legislature that are still good for the state. One of the things that we do is, I have a band. I'm a musician. And we have a band and we go out to the prison and we play out there, and we minister to the prisoners."
Kawasaki said, "The real bill that I think was important this year had to do with senior benefits. Seniors get a small benefit from the state of Alaska based on their income levels. This was a bill that was languishing in committee, didn't think it was going anywhere. I was able to get that passed in record time in the house. We passed it over to the senate and then it became law. And so now many seniors that rely on those small payments from the state will be guaranteed for the next five or six years."
They will face each other for one last debate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Monday night October 29.