Creating opportunity for all

Everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed, to find good work, and live in safe community built around great schools. Like many Alaskans, I grew up without wealth or privilege. When I was six, a robber broke into my father’s office where my dad was working late, and killed him. I grew up in foster homes, where I lived for twelve years until I graduated high school. But I had good public schools, and the opportunity to succeed – things I believe everyone deserves, regardless of life circumstances. I believe in the equal right to liberty and justice for all.

My wife Kelly and I have had many opportunities in our 33 years in Fairbanks (1988-1989) and Anchorage. I’ve been fortunate to find good work, including as an Assistant Attorney General on Alaska’s civil prosecution of Exxon after the disastrous Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Kelly has made her way as a much-loved hospital physical therapist. We’ve been fortunate. For many Alaskans, opportunities are disappearing.

I’m running for governor because Alaskans deserve a brighter future.


Les and Kelly

Governor Dunleavy has made life in Alaska, and the chance to succeed, harder for people in both large and small communities. He’s violated Alaska law by not distributing millions of dollars owed to local communities, forcing many of them to raise local property taxes to pay for state obligations. His cuts have damaged a university that’s been forced to eliminate vocational education (job training certificates) and higher education courses. His attack on the University of Alaska has taken money out of the economy, money that doesn’t get spent at small businesses. It’s damaged the ability to train Alaska workers needed by Alaska businesses. It’s damaged the opportunity to succeed.

Being born without privilege or wealth shouldn’t be a barrier to job training, college and success.

I’ve worked and voted to support schools, Alaska’s university system, and job training, and helped strengthen the state’s financial aid plan so more students and employees can get needed scholarships.

I’m proud to have received national awards for my work supporting Alaska’s foster youth (2018 Adoption Excellence Award and 2017 Casey Excellence for Children Award) so they have a much-deserved chance to prosper in Alaska.