News-Miner opinion: With a half-dozen candidates already filing with the Alaska Public Offices Commission for city or Fairbanks North Star Borough office, it is pretty clear election season is well underway.
Shoshana Kun has filed a letter of intent to run for Fairbanks City Council. Kimberly Lee registered to run for the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, and Keven McKinley filed a letter of intent to run for the Assembly. Erin Morotti and Jeffrey Rentzel signed letters of intent to run for borough school board, while Chrya Sanderson filed for an exemption to run for the school board.
Letters of intent, registration or exemptions are ways to take the first step in getting a campaign off the ground.
Letters of intent can be filed 18 months before the election. They allow candidates to make campaign expenditures or accept contributions before formally declaring for office.
APOC says individuals may not take contributions or make expenditures for a campaign until registered on a candidate registration or municipal exemption statement.
If a municipal candidate does not intend to raise or spend more than $5,000, including personal funds, he or she may file a municipal exemption form freeing them from campaign reporting requirements.
Unless an exemption is filed, municipal candidates must register within seven days of filing a declaration of candidacy or nominating petition with the clerk’s office.
In the coming days, weeks and months, we can only hope there will be much more activity on the political front, with people doing their civic duty, lining up to offer new ideas, new visions for Fairbanks and environs.
Fresh blood is always a good thing in politics, although it often is tough to persuade candidates to run as elected office can be a bruising affair.
We always need more and better leaders — make that the best leaders — and in these trying times we need them more than ever.
We would urge candidates with something to say, candidates who see something that needs to be corrected or improved or who simply want to serve to step up.
Candidates can declare their candidacies for Fairbanks North Star Borough offices beginning 8 a.m. Thursday, July 15, through 5 p.m. July 29. The election is Oct 5.