A “Values Voter Guide” for the upcoming Mat-Su Borough elections has just been released by Alaska Family Action, a pro-life and family advocacy group.

Posted on Oct. 19, the voter guide asked borough assembly candidates to weigh in on free speech, gender identity policies, tax exemptions for religious groups, marijuana regulations, gender specific bathrooms and abortion funding. School board members were asked to provide answers regarding critical race theory, diversity training, transgender athletes, abortion referrals at schools, bathrooms designated for males or females only, parental rights and sex education curriculum.


Of the seven candidates running for one of three seats on the borough assembly, only two responded – Jackson Abney and Dmitri Fonov. Those who did not answer the survey questions were Rob Yundt, Bill Gamble, Clayton “Mokie” Tew, Kerby Coman and Stafford Glashon.

Abney, who’s running for the District 6 seat, takes a hard left stand on several key issues. He indicated that he supports creating “special protected classes” for those who identify as LGBTQ, and he was against requiring borough restrooms and locker rooms be designated for – and exclusively used by – persons of the same biological sex. Additionally, Abney is “undecided” when it comes to whether the borough should help “pay for abortions or to subsidize groups that perform or promote abortion.”

With regards to taxation of religious and non-profit groups, Abney took a more conservative stand. He supports the current tax exemptions for charities and religious groups, and believes non-profits should be able to appeal directly to the Board of Equalization when they disagree with property tax assessments. On the question of marijuana, Abney opposes allowing on-site consumption of marijuana products in the borough.

Dmitri Fonov, who is also running for the District 6 seat, provided the most conservative answers, agreeing that there’s no need to create special protective LGBTQ laws, and supporting bathrooms and locker rooms that are separated according to biological sex. He was also opposed to spending any borough funds to pay for abortions or to subsidize groups that perform or promote the practice, and he backed the borough’s current tax-exempt policy for charities and religious groups. Fonov was also opposed to on-site consumption of marijuana products.


Of the four candidates who are running for two open school board seats, the two conservatives (Kathy McCollum and Ole Larson) answered all the questions, while left-leaning candidates (Sydney Zuyus and Dianne Shibe) declined to answer any of the questions.

Both McCollum and Larson said they oppose critical race theory curriculum as well as “diversity, equity and inclusion” trainings in the schools. They also agreed that biological males should not be able to compete in girls’ sports, and said school district employees should not refer students for abortions or otherwise facilitate abortions by transporting students to an abortion clinic.

 McCollum and Larson also agreed the school board should require all multioccupancy restrooms/locker rooms to be designated for – and used exclusively by – persons of the same biological sex.

On the parental rights front the two conservative candidates agree that parents should be able to pull children from objectionable classes or lessons, and be notified if their child has gender-identity issues or requests to be addressed by pronouns that do not fit their biological sex. McCollum and Larson also agreed that Planned Parenthood’s sex-ed curriculum should not be allowed in borough schools.


— Mat-Su voters will vote on school board and borough assembly candidates during the Nov. 7 elections. Early voting begins Oct. 23. For more information about voting locations, balloting options and registration, click here.

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Values Voter Guide: Mat-Su candidates weigh in on hot-button social issues

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.