by Greg Lincoln
ello to Conrad McCormick of Bethel. He is running for the State House of Representatives seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky who will not be seeking re-election. Conrad is running on the ticket unopposed as a democratic candidate for Alaska House District 38. Currently he is serving as the Vice Mayor on the Bethel City Council. We asked him a few questions about his campaign.
How and when did you make the decision to put your name on the ticket?
When Rep. Zulkosky announced she was not going to be seeking re-election, some people reached out to me to see if I was interested in filing. I took some time to think it over, and after having a few talks with my family and close friends I decided to file.
I wouldn’t have gone forward with it if not for the amount of support I received when talking to people. I was empowered by people in this community to run.
If and when you are elected, what will be your first order of business as the House District 38 representative?
I want to re-establish the Tribal Affairs Special Commission for this upcoming legislature. I believe the Alaska Legislature has a responsibility to adequately represent the Tribes we serve and having that commission helps to do that.
What issues do you feel are important to address for House District 38? What do you hope to change or accomplish?
One of the biggest issues we’re facing is the threat to subsistence fishing. People’s way of life have been significantly changed because of the decrease in the salmon population. I want to create laws that regulate and reduce bycatch. Trawlers need to be held accountable. We need to stop placing the burden on people who have lived here for generations that have relied on food they should always have a right to.
Other subsistetnce foods are currently being threatened as well. I would like to expand laws that protect our land and environment to ensure future generations have subsistence foods.
Public safety is another big issue for our region. We have alarming rates of sexual violence in our region and the highest rates as a state nationally. We need specialized task forces to address these crimes. Additionally, I want to ensure VPSO’s have the resources they need to serve our communities, and that each community has one.
The cost of living in our region is very high. I want to create programs that help offset these costs, along with continuing ones that are already in place like Power Cost Equalization (PCE).
There are a number of other issues our district is currently facing, but these are some of my top priorities.
Your experience on Bethel City Council is sure to be an asset in this next endeavor – how else have you been preparing for your soon-to-be new role, if all goes as planned?
I’m planning to travel around the district as if I was running a competitive campaign. It’s important for me to speak to everyone I can about what their concerns and priorities so I can properly represent the region.
That aside, I am also taking time to thoroughly study the state constitution and about how procedure works in session.
Will you be writing a weekly updates newsletter to keep us informed?
It’s hard to commit to a weekly basis now because I’m unsure what the workload is going to be like. But I would certainly be open to submitting a newsletter!
Do you have anything you’d like to talk about or add regarding your candidacy that would be helpful for folks to know?
I first want to thank everyone who encouraged me to do this, and for the region for providing me with the privilege of representing you.
As representative, I need to be a resource for this region, and I intend to be that. Please always feel like you have an open door in my office. It is my intention to bring District 38 with me to the capital.
Quyana and best wishes to you.