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    Empowering voters: Who are the principled Mat-Su conservatives running for political office?

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    In an effort to clearly identify the strongest conservative candidates for local office in the Mat-Su, the Alaska Watchman sent a survey to everyone running for seats in Palmer, Wasilla and the Mat-Su Borough.

    Our survey focused on some of the most important and contentious social issues facing our nation and local communities.

    While not every candidate participated in the survey, those who did shared their views on abortion, critical race theory, election security, policing, the LGBTQ agenda and much more. Opinions vary, and not all candidates express consistent conservative values so read their responses carefully.

    Palmer and Wasilla will hold elections on Oct. 5 to elect two city council members for each city. Click here for more information about Wasilla’s election. Click here to learn more about Palmer’s election.

    The Mat-Su Borough will hold its election on Nov. 2 to elect a borough mayor, three assembly members and two school board members. Click here for more information.

    MAT-SU BOROUGH CANDIDATES

    EDNA DEVRIES (Running for Mat-Su Borough Mayor)

    Edna DeVries

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: Pro-life.

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Conservative.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: I don’t admire political figures, but I do admire the political issues that they support.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: No.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: Kings Chapel – Wasilla

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No, if you are basing it on current Alaska law.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Yes.

    MATTHEW BECK (Running for Mat-Su Borough Mayor)

    Matthew Beck

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: Not by the Mat-Su Borough. 

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: I am pro-life. 

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: No. The Mat-Su Borough election system is secure and requires ID.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Fiscal conservative.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: Governor Jay Hammond. He was the father of the Permanent Fund Dividend.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: Yes.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: Roman Catholic.

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: Our personal businesses pay more than minimum wage to new employees.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: I’m pro-life.

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes, I support the law.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: No, not in the Mat-Su Borough. I cannot speak to this issue with any certainty regarding other places, where I haven’t and don’t live.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Yes.

    FERDINAND “F. Jay” KRUGER (Running for Mat-Su Borough Assembly, Dist. 3)

    Ferdinand “F. Jay” Kruger

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: Not as a general rule.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: Personally pro-life, but believe the government should not have any say in medical decisions for anyone.

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: Yes, if proper protocols are in place to ensure election integrity.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: Yes.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Moderate.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: Justin Amash, due to his willingness to stand on principle rather than party line.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No. Private business should not be coerced into anything by the government.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: I believe climate change is a natural occurrence, but that we can do things to help minimize our impact.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: None.

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: I believe parents should have the ability to choose the education that they want for their children and should be able to use a voucher or be exempt from the education portion of property tax if they choose an alternative education.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Personally yes, but see my above answer regarding abortion

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Yes.

    JESSE SUMNER (Running for Mat-Su Borough Assembly Dist. 6)

    Sumner
    Jesse Sumner

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: Don’t know what this is.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: Pro-life.

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Conservative.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: None.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: No.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: Catholic.

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Yes, but I think small private businesses ought to be able to have a single bathroom.

    RONALD BERNIER (Running for Mat-Su Borough Assembly, Dist. 7)

    Ronald Bernier

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: I believe we have that in place to some extent, do we not?

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: I am very proudly PRO-LIFE!

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes. Voters need to present IDs as they would for a hunting license or to buy a weapon.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: I am very conservative – nine boys and two girls will bring that out in you, and I was raised on a farm and had to work hard.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: Ben Carson. I can identify with growing up poor and changing your life from your own gumption. Ben had one parent while I had two.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No! I believe that something needs to be done to make harsher penalties to deter crime.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: No.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: I am a Baptist.

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: For sure!

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: They better pay up!

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: I believe social media has done more to set us father back to 1972 than we ever were in the 90s and early 2000s.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Use the bathroom that suites the gender God gave you.

    WASILLA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE

    COLLEEN SULLIVAN-LEONARD (Running for Wasilla City Council, Seat A)

    Colleen Sullivan-Leonard

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: Pro-life.

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Conservative.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: Governor DeSantis of Florida. During a pandemic and progressive push to overregulate, Governor DeSantis has remained firm in supporting Floridians freedoms and liberties.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: No.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: Catholic.

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Yes.

    JORDAN RAUSA (Running for Wasilla City Council Seat A)

    Jordan Rausa

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: I do not support abortion in any form. Abortion is the taking of innocent human life. Abortion is a sadistic act that should be eliminated.

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: I am not familiar with Anchorage and Juneau voting systems enough to draw a parallel but I can tell you that whether absent or not voters should be rigorously verified, identified and checked off a list to ensure we have fair elections where everyone’s vote is counted, once.

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Conservative.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: I don’t admire politicians. They are servants of the people. We often don’t know the names of those who have had the greatest impact on our communities.

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: No. I do believe that we should be good stewards of the natural world, and from generation to generation we should continue to seek ways to ensure that the natural environment is preserved and strengthened.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: Palmer Christian Church.

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No. Not all jobs are alike. I think this issue needs a better solution than establishing a broad-brush “minimum wage” as we have done in the past. So long as we continue with this system, there will never be a “right” number for “minimum wage.” It will always be both too low and too high. It’s not universally applicable across all industries and should be reformed.

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Absolutely. We are a nation that leaves no soldiers behind. We send whole, healthy soldiers into dangerous enemy territory to retrieve even the dead bodies of U.S. Soldiers. If there is any chance that a child’s life is at stake, as a matter of principle and human dignity, and as Americans, we should do everything in our power to make sure that every human life is given a chance to survive. Picture this; Steve Jobs was nearly aborted by his mother – so were Tim Tebow, Andrea Bocelli and Justin Bieber. Think about the massive influence these people have had on our society. Whether good or bad, they are our brothers and sisters as Americans, and we cannot continue leaving them behind to be mutilated, incinerated and forgotten about. Abortion is a shameful act.

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes. The fund’s original intent should be adhered to strictly as it was intended from inception.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: This is not a matter of belief. My answer is no. Our country is not a racist country and neither are our institutions. I know many people from many cultures, races, creeds and religions. I can tell you that I have never encountered anyone who is truly racist. The people of our great State of Alaska are good people who are hospitable and treat others fairly.

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Yes.

    PAMELA MELIN (Running for Palmer City Council)

    Pamela Melin

    Q: Do you support COVID vaccines or mask mandates?

    A: No mandates. Individuals can make decisions on their healthcare. 

    Q: Do you support community-oversight boards for local police?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support legal abortion or are you pro-life?

    A: Pro-life.

    Q: Do you support stronger voter ID protocols for absentee voters?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support universal mail-in voting, like what Anchorage and Juneau currently have?

    A: Is this a trick question? No. 

    Q: Do you support ranked-choice voting?

    A: No.

    Q: How would you describe your political belief system: Conservative, progressive or moderate?

    A: Conservative patriot.

    Q: Name a contemporary political figure and BRIEFLY explain why you admire them.

    A: Trump and Ron DeSantis. Both are fearless patriots who hold strong conservative values and are willing to call out and hold political elites accountable. 

    Q: Do you support gender identity and expression laws to help regulate religious organizations and private businesses?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe we need tighter gun regulations?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you believe global climate change is a threat to humanity?

    A: No, climate changes are as old as time.

    Q: What church or religious group are you affiliated with, if any?

    A: I love Jesus. 

    Q: Do you believe the main-stream media is biased against conservative viewpoints?

    A: 100% and then some! 

    Q: Do you support increasing the minimum wage?

    A: No. Businesses can make decisions on pay without more federal oversight. 

    Q: Do you support school vouchers which allow parents to send their children to whichever schools they choose, whether that be public, private or religious?

    A: Absolutely! 

    Q: Do you believe human life begins at conception and should be legally protected?

    A: Without question! 

    Q: Do you support a full statutory PFD payment to Alaskans?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you believe systemic racism has undermined many of our educational, cultural and governmental institutions?

    A: As of late, this narrative has caused more division and destruction than any other ideology. 

    Q: Do you believe bathrooms, showers or locker rooms should be restricted to members of the same biological sex regardless of how someone may sexually identify?

    A: Without question!

    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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    7 Comments

    1. Matthew Beck supported resolution no. 19-083 when he was an assembly member in 2019. Matthew Beck has a voting record not supporting the 2nd amendment.

    2. Matthew Beck is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
      All of his answers were carefully worded to appear “conservative”.
      Look at his answers on vaccine mandates, being conservative, etc.
      Def a Liberal on Palmer City Council.

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