Alaskan voters will have another option for governor this November. For the first-time ever, the Alaskan Constitution Party will have a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot, as well as a candidate for lieutenant governor.
"This is really groundbreaking," explained J.R. Myers, founder, chairman and now gubernatorial candidate for the Alaskan Constitution Party. "This is actually the first time the Alaska Constitution Party will have a candidate for governor and lieutenant governor, which also, interestingly coincides with the fact that it's the first time in history the Democrats will not now have candidates for governor or lieutenant governor."
The group, which has just over 200 members, was first recognized by the state in 2011. And due to state law, it is categorized not as a political party but a "political group." Due to this fact, Myers and his running mate, Maria Rensel, had to collect signatures to appear on the ballot.
While gathering signatures, Myers was able to canvas would-be voters.
"Most people were very happy and excited to have a new choice on the ballot," he explained.
Though running on the same ticket, Rensel and Myers had to campaign and gather signatures separately. He said in total the pair brought in approximately 9,000 names, exceeding the state election board's requirements.
The group hopes that after this election their status, according to the state, will be upgraded to a political party, so they can nominate a candidate at a convention like the Republicans and Democrats.
Myers believes that the Alaska Constitution Party's views are the right direction for the state.
"We're rapidly approaching a time of economic constraints that has not been known in this state," he explained. "Our biggest challenge is how do we reign in the government in a way that is not going to damage the economy."
The Alaska Constitution Party's holds a strong belief in the Constitution, as the name of the party implies.
"We believe in the rule of law and the Constitution-based government," he said.
There may be other parties out there that may also believe they're Constitution-based, but Myers wouldn't agree.
"The GOP has failed to live up to their promises," he added. "People want a party that is true to their principles. I wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea. We're not a refugee camp for disgruntled Republicans, but we do have a lot of former Republicans in our midst."
Myers champions limited government: "There are other ways to solve problems besides turning to the government over and over again," he explained.
He is also a staunch believer in the Second Amendment: "I'm totally against federal encroachment of Second Amendment rights," he added.
And for other hot-button issues like Common Core, Myers turns again to the Constitution: "Again it comes down to the Constitution. Where in the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to get involved in educational policy at the local and state level? Nowhere.
We need to get rid of the Department of Education, and we need to decentralize the educational structure so it is at the state and local control," he said.
Myers described Common Core as a dumbing down program. "Common Core is more about creating a docile working class."
Myers faces incumbent Governor Sean Parnell, a Republican, in November.
For more information on Myers and the Alaskan Constitution Party, visit his website atwww.jr4gov.com.
To listen to the entire interview with J.R. Myers, click here.
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