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Seaton files to run as independent in Democratic primary

Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, responds to a question from a reporter during House Majority press availability in the Alaska State Capitol, April 3, 2018. The conversation centered on House Bill 286, the state operating budget passed by the House or Representatives the day before. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

House Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer is taking a new route this election cycle.

Seaton has represented House District 31 on the Kenai Peninsula as a Republican since 2002, but he filed Thursday to run as an independent in the Democratic primary.

This comes roughly six months after the state Republican Party unsuccessfully tried to block Seaton and two other House Republicans, Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak, from the party’s primary this year.

The party argued it had the power to exclude the lawmakers because of a court decision that allows independents to run in Democratic primaries.

The state Division of Elections ultimately denied the party’s request. Party leaders have targeted the lawmakers since they joined a bipartisan coalition made up of mostly Democrats in 2016, which took control of the House away from Republicans.The party also sanctioned Seaton and the other two lawmakers that year.

Seaton now is taking advantage of the very same court decision Republicans tried to use against him.

He is the only candidate to file for the Democratic primary so far.

Sarah Vance of Homer, John Cox of Anchor Point and Henry Kroll of Soldotna have all filed to run in the Republican primary.

The deadline to file is 5 p.m. June 1.

Source: pps Alaska

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