In the 2018 general election on November 6, three candidates are on the ballot for Alaska’s governor: Democrat Mark Begich, Republican Mike Dunleavy, and Libertarian Billy Toien.
KNOM spoke with Toien in a phone interview.
“I’m not a professional politician. I’m a very ordinary, working person, that has seen what needs to be done, especially with the finances. And, I decided to step up to the plate. It’s important to have ordinary working people with skin in the game so it doesn’t become us or them.”
As a Libertarian candidate, Toien is running under the principle of smaller, less involved government.
Toien is especially concerned about the state of Alaska’s finances and eventually decided to run for governor due to what he believes are “anomalies” within the state’s finances. The base of his campaign platform is that money must be put in order before the government can address other issues.
Here is Toien’s analysis of the state budget:
“Two thirds of the state’s finances have been diverted into off budget cash pools and, in the auditor’s own words, (are) ‘no longer able to be used for day to day operating costs.’”
Regarding education, Toien doesn’t believe that the government should have a direct role. Rather, he advocates for remote schooling, homeschooling, and alternative schooling as more cost-effective options.
But on issues of subsistence, changing weather patterns, and environmental concerns, Toien cited this as being the one place he would follow the Walker administration’s lead.
“We need to continue what has already been started, and once again, each community has its own special need… I think it’s a combination of both. We do need to continue this study, but we also need to meet with the people of these communities to see how we can best fit their needs. And with the state’s finances put back in order, we would have the financial resources to assist them.”
When asked about public safety, Toien said that he believes people should be empowered through self-defense. He does see the economy as being an essential part of public safety.
“When people are economically empowered, and there’s a healthier economic environment and not a feeling of hopelessness and there’s productive work and income, a lot of the turning to drugs and violence… a lot of the people that have too much time on their hands would be drastically reduced and we would be able to use what resources, police and courts, for what still exists which would be a much smaller amount.”
In the 2018 General Election — Tuesday, Nov. 6 — Alaskans will also have the opportunity to vote on the state’s only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as on Ballot Measure One.
Image at top: 2018 Alaska gubernatorial candidate Billy Toien. Photo via Facebook.