Get Out the Native Vote (GOTNV) is proud to highlight the Alaska Natives who have filed to run in the June 11 Special Election, a race to serve out Congressman Young’s term. In alphabetical order, we are pleased to refer to Laurel Foster, Emil Notti, Mary Peltola and Tara Sweeney as candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I have known of, or known well these incredible leaders for many years, and it is unsurprising that we will find them on a federal ballot this summer. It is a very exciting time in the Native community to witness a selection of candidates who happen to be Alaska Native.” – Gloria O’Neill, CITC President/CEO
Laurel Foster, Cup’ik, Emil Notti, Koyukon Athabascan, Mary Peltola, Yup’ik, and Tara Sweeney, Inupiat, have answered the call to serve that has marked our community in so many ways. Laurel is an experienced paralegal and a 2nd Lieutenant with the 168th Security Forces Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. Her advocacy centers on Alaska Native justice. Emil was an ANCSA delegate, and helped shape the state’s corporate make-up from the beginning. He’s run for office and served as a state commissioner more than once. Mary served a decade in the Alaska Legislature, advanced community education on the largest proposed drilling program at the world-scale in Western Alaska for Donlin Gold, and uses her lifelong fisheries experience with managing the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. Tara Sweeney co-chaired U.S. Rep. Don Young’s re-election campaign until his death last month, was an executive at Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and was co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives. She was also the assistant secretary for Indian affairs during the Trump administration. Both of these women had parents intimately involved with the Alaska Legislature.
While we are thrilled with the deepest bench Alaska Native candidates have been able to offer in one race alone in our state’s history, we recognize that Georgiana Lincoln, Athabascan, and Diane Benson, Tlingit, have also made historic runs for Alaska’s At-Large seat. Good luck to all the candidates, and GOTNV will be sharing updates on the voting deadlines and the new Ranked Choice Voting process throughout the election season.