Chris Ludtke came to Alaska 10 years ago looking for a place with maximum freedom.
The 35-year-old blaster at Fort Knox Gold Mine doesn’t think much of the government. He believes taxation is theft and that businesses face too many government-caused obstacles. He believes people should have freedom of interference from the government.
Ludtke told KTVF Channel 11 in an interview that he would keep his day job, if elected mayor, and refuse the mayor’s salary. Ludtke is one of three candidates for borough mayor appearing on Tuesday’s local ballot.
“I believe in strict property rights and I won’t compromise my values or principles,” he said in an emailed answer to questions.
Ludtke has been running for public office in recent years to get a discussion going about the proper role of government, which in his view is minimal. He is registered to vote as a libertarian, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.
Last year, Ludtke ran for Borough Assembly Seat D and drew 1,919 votes or 11.46%. He came in third in a field of three and wound up voting for one of his challengers, former North Pole legislator Tammie Wilson, who won.
His opponents this time around are Borough Mayor Bryce Ward, a landlord and contractor, and perennial borough office seeker Robert Shields. Mary Caro Simmons, who has worked as a beautician and school bus driver, is mounting a last-minute write-in campaign.
“I’m trying to get people’s money back in their pockets and get government out of things,” Ludtke told Channel 11. “I think private enterprise, individuals, charities, churches, those are the people that truly solve our problems, and it’s not the borough. They create more problems than they solve.”
Ludtke drove to Fairbanks from Minnesota a little more than a decade ago to study chemistry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but was forced to pause his studies due to financial challenges.
If elected, this would be his first role in public service, he wrote. He listed no volunteer experience. He has a high school diploma and has acted at times as a supervisor “but no official titles,” he wrote. Ludtke has previously worked the overnight shift at Fred Meyer.
He tries his best with every job and said he could think of no one achievement to share.
“With every job I’ve had, my goal has been to improve the overall process through small increases in efficiency,” he wrote.
Candidate Q & A
Name two of the borough’s most pressing issues and how you would address them.
Property rights — end property tax, it is theft. Education — school choice.
What new services are needed at the borough and how would you pay for it?
I would rather eliminate and/or privatize some services.
What cuts are needed at the borough and what should happen with the money saved?
Carlson Center, Pioneer Park, Mary Siah and Big Dipper. Privatize these and cut the saved amount from property taxes to keep more money in private hands.
Should the borough hire more code enforcement officers to deal with the backlog of land use complaints? Why or why not?
No. I would rather spend more effort on eliminating frivolous borough code and if someone has a serious enough issue with land use they can go to court.
The largest annual appropriation by the borough is for public education. Is the local contribution to education too low, too high or just right? Please explain.
Too high. Every year the schools ask for more money and results have gotten worse. Private and charter schools have better results with less spent per student.