Former House District 1 candidate Kathryn Dodge announced Monday afternoon that she will run for Fairbanks city mayor against incumbent Jim Matherly in the October election.
“I think we have lots of opportunity to create the community we want, but we have to work together to turn those opportunities into a reality. I believe that the decisions we make today will impact us for decades to come,” Dodge said in a news release announcing her candidacy. “I want us to get it right. As mayor I intend to focus on strengthening our local economy to ensure stability in tough times and create opportunities for future generations. Let’s work together to create a shared vision so that we can build a Golden Future for Fairbanks.”
Dodge is a longtime resident of downtown Fairbanks and a former six-year member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, including two years as presiding officer. She lost the House District 1 race in the November election by one vote to Republican Bart LeBon.
She said her inspiration to run for the office came from a desire to partner with businesses and residents of Fairbanks to "create an energetic and interesting downtown and city that excites our young people to stay in or return to our community."
"That means working on the basics like repairing potholes, removing snow, making sure City Hall is a user-friendly place and developing a vision of Fairbanks 20 years from now," Dodge said.
Dodge is the first Fairbanks resident to announce a bid to unseat Matherly, who announced his bid for re-election in a Jan. 11 Facebook post.
"I filed for re-election today," the post reads. "I am very excited & honored to serve. #matherlyformayor19"
Matherly told Fairbanks Webcenter 11 his priority, if re-elected, will be public safety.
Matherly has recently come under fire from several members of the City Council and members of the Fairbanks community for a last-minute veto on City Council Ordinance 6093, which would have extended anti-discrimination protections to members of Fairbanks' LGBTQ community. The City Council passed the ordinance by a vote of 4-2. Matherly vetoed the ordinance just four days later.
Dodge said Monday she "would have let the council decision stand."
With regard to the race against Matherly, Dodge added that she trusts that "it will be a respectful exchange of ideas."
Fairbanks mayors are elected for three-year terms. The municipal election will be held Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.
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