In her attempt to unseat conservative Mat-Su School Board Member Ole Larson, challenger Dianne Shibe is relying heavily on movers and shakers among Alaska’s cultural and political left.
A gathering of prominent left-leaning progressives anchored a Sept. 23 fundraising event for Shibe.
As reported by the Watchman, her campaign team already includes former Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Patricia Chesbro, who ran a pro-abortion, climate alarmist, and LGBTQ driven campaign in 2022.
The recent fundraiser revealed several other liberal Shibe supporters.
Lynn Kracke, who’s social media posts blast Republicans for opposing abortion, was one of the main hosts of the gathering. While claiming to be a Republican, she was also a staunch supporter of former Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.
Another co-host included Anchorage School Board Member Andy Holleman, an LGBTQ activist who opposed the Alaska State Board of Education’s decision to ban gender-confused males from girls sports. He was also endorsed by Planned Parenthood.
Tom Klaameyer, the current president the National Education Association’s Alaska branch, was also a co-host. As the long-time leader of Alaska’s largest teachers’ union, Klaameyer’s organization has advocated for critical race theory in schools and LGBTQ driven policies.
Other co-hosts included: Sarah Welton, Fred McKenney, Vicki Hewitt, John Notestine, Tim Walters, Lucy Hope, Tim Hale, Jim Sykes, Lori Berrigan, Kristi Short, Jackie Cunningham, Ted Swanson, among others.
In an email to her supporters, Shibe thanked those who attended the fundraiser.
“I am so grateful for all of the support we have been receiving for this campaign so far,” she said. “We need school board members who are transparent and accountable to parents, staff and students. I am excited to make that happen, but we can’t do this without you.”
The Mat-Su School Board currently enjoys a 6-1 conservative majority, with Ted Swanson being the lone left-leaning member. If Shibe, and fellow union-backed candidate Sydney Zuyus, are successful in their bids to oust conservative incumbents Kathy McCollum and Ole Larson, that conservative majority could shrink to a narrow 4-3 edge.
While claiming to be a champion of transparency, Shibe has refused to answer Alaska Watchman questions asking her about where she stands on key issues like parental rights, controversial library books, abortion and contraception referrals at school, transgender sports and bathrooms, mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training, sex-education curriculum, gender pronoun policies, political activism among teachers and more.
— Mat-Su voters will vote on school board candidates during the Nov. 7 elections. Early voting begins Oct. 23. For more information about voting locations, balloting options and registration, click here.