From Richard Mauer in Anchorage —
With his health concerns behind him, Rep. Les Gara said he will ask Anchorage voters to send him back to the Legislature for a sixth term this year.
Gara, a Democrat, would run in the new House District 18 if the election is held under the current interim redistricting plan. The district includes downtown Anchorage, Government Hill and Fairview, which makes it a fairly safe Democratic seat. Under the old district map from the 2000 Census, Gara represented District 23.
Gara, 49, served on the House Finance Committee in the 27th Legislature. Among his top priorities have been improving the foster care system and improving the affordability of higher education.
Until he had successful surgery for prostate cancer April 24, Gara had been reluctant to commit to running again and had received a send-off as a retiree at the annual Legislative Skits, the revue put on by legislative staff. He said Tuesday that he had filed for re-election.