FAIRBANKS — Both North Pole candidates vying for the House District 1 seat in the Nov. 6 election share some of the reasons for wanting to go to Juneau. Lowering energy costs in the Interior and keeping the gates of Eielson Air Force Base open are among them.
One of the differences between Janice Golub and Doug Isaacson is their experience in public office.
After a short time living in Clear, Golub, 44, a New York native, and her husband Michael, have made their home in the North Pole area for the past decade.
Golub and her husband each have a military background: Golub is an Army National Guard major with part-time status. She also works part-time for the Selective Service, and had four years of active duty training in military intelligence and transportation. Michael is a retired Army major.
“I’ve been following Alaska politics since I got here,” she said. “I am concerned about issues here, especially Eielson Air Force Base. They’re always trying to close it. If it was closed, it would have a terrible impact on the borough and North Pole.”
Golub hasn’t run for a public office before but believes she can carry out the legislative work, referring to her military leadership background and experience as a personnel officer in charge of a 250-member battalion.
“I’m trustworthy and have a high level of security clearance,” she said. “I want to do what is best for the district. I’m here for the people.”
Isaacson, 54, has lived in the Interior since the late 1970s, in the North Pole area since 1993, and in the city of North Pole since 1998. He served six years on the North Pole City Council, followed by two consecutive three-year terms as mayor of the small community 13 miles south of Fairbanks. He survived a recall election.
With his term limit up Oct. 15, when the new North Pole mayor was sworn in, Isaacson said he’s been too busy catching up with campaign matters to begin looking for a new job.
Isaacson was a mortgage broker until the mortgage meltdown in 2008.
He said the skills he developed during his terms as mayor will serve him well as a state legislator. In a legislative role, Isaacson said, he will work to create a “vibrant economy.”
“I’m all about new investments and cutting red tape,” he said. “We need to create new wealth, and that doesn’t come from government but from the private sector. We over-regulate ourselves, and our business climate is one of the worst in the nation.”
The two candidates have participated in local forums and gone on record as to their political leanings.
Isaacson describes Golub as “a very likable person” but says he is concerned about her lack of public office experience and that her views on social and economic issues aren’t well known.
Isaacson characterizes himself as a conservative on both matters, and Golub as a liberal.
“What she will do, I don’t know, but my views are widely known,” he said.
Isaacson said he supports a municipal gas utility to rapidly build up gas for the Interior.
In addition, Isaacson points to the value of his years networking statewide via the Alaska Municipal League.
Golub acknowledges that Isaacson has a record to run on but points out his six-year mayoral run wasn’t without questions.
“There was a recall effort in 2010 (unsuccessful) and some ethics complaints,” she said. “I wouldn’t find myself in that kind of situation.”
Golub said she supports labor unions and good jobs with good wages to make for a healthy economy.
She said Isaacson supports Gov. Sean Parnell’s “big oil giveaway,” the governor’s proposal “to give $2 billion a year to oil companies, no strings attached, no commitments on production or local hire.”
“If we are going to make any meaningful tax reform we have to get something back with that money,” Golub said. “We can’t give it away.”
District 1 borders both sides of the Richardson Highway from North Pole to Salcha with its eastern flank jutting out over mostly empty federal land. It has 14,419 registered voters within its perimeter, which includes both Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base.