Alaska Politics Blog

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Election Commission finds 1/2 of precincts ran out of ballots; recommends no investigation - 4/25/2012 5:08 pm

Harris on his bid for governor

House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, left, talks with Gov. Sarah Palin in her office at the state Capitol Nov. 12, 2007, in Juneau. (AP Photo/Seanna O'Sullivan)House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, left, talks with Gov. Sarah Palin in her office at the state Capitol Nov. 12, 2007, in Juneau. (AP Photo/Seanna O'Sullivan)

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

Valdez Republican Rep. John Harris today filed a letter of intent to run for governor with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

He’ll formally announce he’s running tomorrow, but it’s no secret. He’s made it clear in the past that he’d run if Palin didn’t.

“It’s a practical thing. I don’t know if anybody could have beat (Palin) in a primary race for governor. Maybe Lisa Murkowski, but not me,” Harris said in a quick phone interview today. “Now that she’s decided not to run, it’s basically an open seat.”

Here’s who he considers potential contenders on the Republican side: former gubernatorial candidate John Binkley, former Rep. Ralph Samuels and “maybe” former Sen. Ralph Seekins or outgoing University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton.

“On the Democrats side, I’ve heard Les Gara of course. Ethan Berkowitz. Sen. Hollis French and of course Bob Poe.”

As for Sean Parnell, Harris says the incoming governor can be beaten — Palin endorsement or not. Rep. Don Young, did it, he said.

Either way, Harris said he’ll give up his House seat when his term ends. “If I win the governor’s race, I’ll be governor and if I don’t’ win, I’ll be nothing. That’s the way it works.”

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