News

  • News: Gara testifies, files comments to protect Fish from Pebble Mine. 
    To: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ow-docket@epa.gov. From: Les Gara, 1242 W 10th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501; lesgara@gmail.com. Date: June 7, 2022 Re:  Action Needed Because Alaska’s Governor Won’t Prevent Toxic Pebble Proposal; All Laws Needed To Protect Bristol Bay Salmon and Communities.  Docket Number EPA–R10–OW–2022–0418  1. The Pebble Mine is a Toxic Danger to the World’s […]
  • Les and Jess talk Policy in Homer
    Homer News | Michael Armstrong | June 22, 2022 At the heart of their campaign, Democratic Party candidates for governor and lieutenant governor Les Gara and Jessica Cook look to increasing funding for education from pre-kindergarten through university to keep Alaska growing — and Alaskans from moving out of state. Earlier this month, Gara and […]
  • Gara Calls for Fish First Policy
    Alaska Native News | June 24, 2022 Alaska’s Fish Should Be Treated As Our Other Permanent Fund This week, Alaska fisheries managers announced grim fish runs and severely limited fishing opportunities on the Yukon and Kuskokwim river drainages. Alaska Gubernatorial Candidate Les Gara is calling on Alaska to take action and adopt a fish-first policy. [Read more …]
  • Press Release: Roe Reversal Makes Alaska’s Next Governor Last Line of Defense
    Gara and Cook are the Only Pro-Choice Team on the Gubernatorial Ticket Anchorage, AK – Today the U.S. Supreme Court set women’s rights back 50 years when the Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade. The opinion leaves a woman’s right to choose up to states. “This decision puts a woman’s right to make her own health decisions […]
  • Press Release: Gara Calls for Alaska First Fish Policy
    Alaska’s Fish Should Be Treated As Our Other Permanent Fund Anchorage — This week, Alaska fisheries managers announced grim fish runs and severely limited fishing opportunities on the Yukon and Kuskokwim river drainages. Alaska Gubernatorial Candidate Les Gara is calling on Alaska to take action and adopt a fish-first policy. Gara states: “Last year outside-owned factory trawlers dumped over 1,000 […]
  • Les Gara Lays Out Campaign to Sitkans
    Daily Sitka Sentinel | by Shannon Haugland | June 17, 2022 ““You can’t just tear down a state – you have to build it up,” he said. He said the state currently has a construction budget – “not counting this year of Russian blood money” – that’s 75 percent smaller than it was in 2014, […]
  • News: Gara Brings Honesty and Hope to Fiscal Policy Discussions
    Running for governor, Gara speaks out against the ‘false promise’ of unfunded dividends KCAW | Robert Woolsey | June 14 “It’s a false choice to say we have to pick between a large Permanent Fund Dividend and schools,” says former Rep. Les Gara, a Democrat challenging Mike Dunleavy for governor. “We don’t have to turn […]
  • Press Release: Gara & Cook Endorsed Today By Alaska’s Largest Pro-Choice Organization
    Only Pro-Choice Gubernatorial Ticket In Race Against Governors candidates who are Pro-Life Today Les Gara and Jessica Cook recived the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Advocates Alliance, as the only pro-choice ticket in this Governor’s race.  A woman’s right to choose will be at the forefront of this race, in which all remaining Governor’s candidates are avowedly pro-life. […]
  • Gara: Alaska’s Governor Should Represent More Than Just the Wealthy 
    Anchorage Daily News | Les Gara | June 4, 2022 “Good leaders represent everyone, not just those with outsized wealth and influence. It’s why I’m running for governor. This has become a state where you prosper if you’re already prosperous, and you often get a cold shoulder if you’re not. Most Alaskans have been turned […]
  • Press Release: Dunleavy Uses $50,000 In-State Money To Pay Campaign Worker 
    Gara Calls On Dunleavy Campaign To Reimburse State, Not Use Public Money As His Campaign Piggy Bank. Anchorage, AK — Today former Representative Les Gara called on the Governor to reimburse the state for a $50,000 contract given to a current campaign staffer.  “The Governor is using public money as a personal campaign piggy bank,” […]
  • Opinion: Elise Patkotak – Gara’s Legislative Record: Pro-Choice, Stood Up For Foster Youth 
    Anchorage Daily News | By Elise Patkotak | May 21, 2022 “Given the choice of candidates running for governor, I think anyone who knows me knows that I am backing Les Gara. And that is not because in our past lives we were both New Yorkers. It’s because of his support of foster kids, something dear […]
  • News: Poll Confirms Gara has best chance to beat Dunleavy; leads all challengers.
    Last week Lake Research, a nationally recognized polling firm, released a poll following the leaked Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, showing governors candidate Les Gara has the best chance of all challengers to beat Mike Dunleavy. Their polling analysis is linked here. Gara is the only pro-choice candidate running for governor in a […]
  • News: Gara calls out governor for putting big money into politics. 
    Anchorage Daily News | by Nathaniel Herz | May 20, 2022 “Dunleavy orchestrated the end of donation limits,” Gara said in a phone interview Thursday. “The guy who’s filed every lawsuit he could think of was too scared to file an appeal when our donation limits were struck down.” [Read More … ]
  • Press Release: Gara Addresses Governor’s Decision to Leave Alaska With Future Fiscal Gap, Continued Future School, Budget & PFD Battles
    Russian War Money, Election Year Spending, Just Take Alaska To Future Battles Over Schools, Energy Projects, PFD, Which Dunleavy Used to Divide Alaskans His First Three Years Today Former Rep. Les Gara issued the following statement on the Governor’s refusal to use leadership for the fourth year in a row as the 2022 legislative session […]
  • News: Gara Only Pro-Choice Candidate Among 6 In Race
    News From The States | by James Brooks | May 11, 2022 After U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaks, Alaska governor candidates share their thoughts. [Read More … ]
  • News: Gara Takes Campaign For Better Future, Better Jobs, Women’s Choice to the Kenai Peninsula.
    The Peninsula Clarion | Ashlyn O’Hara | Tuesday, May 10, 2022 Alaska gubernatorial candidate Les Gara visited Seward over the weekend, meeting the mayor and connecting with local business owners. He was in town for the Alaska Democratic Party State Convention, which was held in Seward this year, but also spent time talking to people […]
  • OPINION: Gara will protect Alaska women’s right to make their own health choices
    By Tina Tomsen, MD | Anchorage Daily News | May 3, 2022 “The silent majority of Alaskans who care about women and children, their health and that of their families, individual rights and the right to privacy in these complex decisions, should join me in supporting Les Gara to be Alaska’s next governor. He has all […]
  • News: Gara Says He’ll Keep Choice Legal in Alaska; Only Pro-Choice Governors Candidate
    Dunleavy urges ‘robust discussion’ on abortions in Alaska if Roe v. Wade is overturnedFairbanks Daily News-Miner | Linda F. Hersey May 3, 2022 Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, describing himself as pro-life, is calling for a “robust discussion on the future of abortion access in Alaska,” if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as […]
  • Press Release: Gara & Cook React To Roe v. Wade Reversal In Leaked Supreme Court Opinion
    Only Pro-Choice Gubernatorial Ticket Commits To Protect A Woman’s Right To Choose In Alaska Yesterday’s leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion alarmingly states a majority of  Supreme Court Justices have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Court’s most radical Justices, including newer appointees, appear to have joined in that opinion. The opinion leaves a woman’s right to choose […]
  • OPINION: Better schools lead to better jobs for Alaska
    Anchorage Daily News April 17, 2022 | By Les Gara and Jessica Cook We believe in a state that creates opportunity, with good schools that help students achieve, and good jobs so people can build a future here. Workers deserve a living wage so a full-time worker doesn’t have to raise a child in poverty. […]
  • Interview by Southeast’s KTOO: Democrat Les Gara discusses why he’s running for governor
    KTOO April 13, 2022 | by Jeremy Hsieh Democratic candidate for governor Les Gara was in Juneau last week campaigning. The candidate sat down with KTOO’s Jeremy Hsieh on Friday to talk about why he’s running, the state’s finances and how he thinks the new ranked choice voting system will play out. Listen Online …
  • News: In governor’s race, Gara says he stands apart
    Former lawmaker contrasts his own record with rivals Published in the Juneau Empire April 11, 2022 | by Peter Segall There’s a crowded field in this year’s race for governor of Alaska, but former state lawmaker Les Gara says he stands apart. “I’m the only candidate in this race who hasn’t cut public education,” Gara said in […]
  • Alaska Voices: Our vision of a state with better schools, better jobs
    We want to move Alaska forward again By Les Gara and Jessica Cook | Peninsula Clarion | April 4, 2022 We believe in a state that creates opportunity, with good schools that help students achieve and good jobs so people can build a future here. Workers deserve a living wage, so a full-time worker doesn’t […]
  • News: Gubernatorial candidate Gara shares views on the economy, education, and AMHS during his trip to Ketchikan
    Maria Dudzak | KRBD Democratic gubernatorial candidate Les Gara spoke with KRBD by phone as he was traveling for a campaign stop in Ketchikan Wednesday night. He discussed the economy, education, job creation and the Alaska Marine Highway System. Click to listen Online
  • Watch: Les & Jessica at March 20 Candidate Forum -The Road to a Better Future
    (Or view at https://fb.watch/bUEnL6VXQb/.)
  • Press Release: Gara & Former State Commissioner Say ConocoPhillips Cannot Block Access To Potential Billion Barrel North Slope Oil Project
    “One of the biggest impediments to increased investment in oil development on the North Slope by new investors has been actions by major oil companies. Blocking development by new, often smaller competitors kills jobs and harms our Alaska’s ability to fund everything from schools to rural and urban police to a stronger long-term PFD,” said […]
  • Gara Calls on Governor to Suspend State Gasoline Tax, Ease Burden on Alaskans
    ANCHORAGE – Alaskans from Ketchikan to Utqiagvik and all points in between are feeling the pinch as surging oil prices driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine send gasoline costs skyrocketing. To help ease sticker shock at the pump Alaska Democratic gubernatorial candidate Les Gara is calling on Gov. Dunleavy to temporarily suspend the state gasoline […]
  • Press Release: Dunleavy Orchestrates Unlimited Campaign Spending To Help His Re-Election
    Governor Refused Court Invitation To Appeal Ruling Against Alaska’s $500 Donation Limit, Then Refused Calls To Add A Bill With Reasonable Donation Limits To The Fall Special Session. “Governor Dunleavy did everything in his power to allow unlimited campaign spending in our elections. Yesterday he finally succeeded”, said Gubernatorial Candidate and former legislator Les Gara, […]
  • Press Advisory: Gara, Cook, Other Candidates Invited To Address Southwest Alaska Economic Development Group (SWAMC) in Anchorage Friday
    ANCHORAGE — Alaska Democratic gubernatorial candidate Les Gara and running mate Jessica Cook plan to address the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage on Friday, March 4, at 2:30 p.m. All other candidates have also been invited to speak as well. A nonprofit economic development organization representing Southwest Alaska, […]
  • Running to protect the ‘second Permanent Fund’ — fish
    By Les Gara and Jessica Cook For the Homer News • February 23, 2022 We’ve teamed up to run because you deserve a brighter future. When families see continued education cuts and a lack of job opportunity they lose hope. Twenty-thousand more people have left Alaska under the current governor than have moved here. Too […]
  • Gara’s gubernatorial running mate has education, military background
    By The Cordova Times | February 21, 2022 Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Les Gara has named Palmer educator Jessica Cook to his ticket as lieutenant governor, saying she brings the energy, intelligence and needed perspective to a state where people see little commitment to public education. Cook, who teaches in Eagle River, has earned two master’s […]
  • Democratic governor candidate Les Gara picks Anchorage teacher as his running mate
    By James Brooks | Anchorage Daily News, February 15, 2022 Democratic governor candidate Les Gara on Monday named Jessica Cook of Palmer as his lieutenant governor candidate for this fall’s general election. Gara and Cook are the only Democratic candidates in the race so far. The deadline to enter is June 1. Cook, born in Anchorage, […]
  • Les Gara picks teacher Jessica Cook as running mate in Alaska governor’s race
    By Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage -February 14, 2022 Les Gara has chosen school teacher and education advocate Jessica Cook to be his running mate in the race to become Alaska’s next governor.  “She’s been an amazing advocate in the Legislature, she understands her way around the political system. And she is not a fan […]
  • Press Release: Jessica Cook, Teacher & Former Education Association V.P.,  Announces Run For Lt. Governor 
    “People deserve a better future with strong schools, good jobs and a living wage, not a state people are leaving.” Today Palmer resident, teacher, and former vice president for both Alaska’s and Anchorage’s education associations announced she’s running for Lt. Governor alongside gubernatorial candidate Les Gara. Alaska-born Cook, who teaches in Eagle River said, “I’m running because […]
  • Teacher Jessica Cook joins Les Gara’s gubernatorial ticket
    by Matt Buxton, Midnightsunak.com February 14, 2022 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Les Gara settled his ticket today when he announced Jessica Cook, a six-grade teacher at Eagle River’s Alpenglow Elementary School, as his pick for lieutenant governor. Gara and Cook make for the only Democratic ticket currently slated for this year’s gubernatorial race, which has drawn […]
  • OPINION: Ranked-choice voting, Les Gara and Alaska’s future
    By Daniel Fisher | Anchorage Daily News, February 13, 2022 I’m 17, and I’ll get to cast my first ballot this November. I plan to vote for Les Gara for governor, and I hope you do, too. I’m excited to vote, because not only is Alaska at a real crossroads politically, but this will also be […]
  • Press Release: Gara & Tribal Leader Mike Williams Sr. Call For “Police In Every Community”
    Dozens of Alaska Villages Have No Police At All Dozens of Alaska communities still have no police to protect their residents. “Every community deserves public safety. Letting a criminal assault community members, with no protection from any police officer isn’t justice, it’s negligence,” said Mike Williams, Sr. and Les Gara in a joint statement today. […]
  • We need a governor who protects reproductive rights | Juneau Empire
    Juneau Empire | February 7, 2022 We need a governor who protects reproductive rights because he believes in themThat’s why I’ll be voting for Les Gara. by Cindy Smith On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, a decision which has protected a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion for […]
  • Point of View: Les Gara for governor, for Alaska’s children, and our public education system
    Homer News | By Winter Marshall-Allen • February 3, 2022 1:30 am Residing in a pristine resource rich state, such as Alaska, is a blessing. Developing these resources in a culturally responsive and responsible manner is of utmost importance as we look to the future. Our youth are one of those precious resources, and I […]
  • Les Gara for governor, for Alaska’s children & our public education system | Peninsula Clarion
    Peninsula Clarion | February 3, 2022 Les Gara has already displayed his commitment to Alaska’s youth during his time in the state Legislature. by Winter Marshall-Allen Residing in a pristine resource-rich state, such as Alaska, is a blessing. Developing these resources in a culturally responsive and responsible manner is of utmost importance as we look […]
  • Press Release: Governor Disappeared When He Could Have Prevented Sickness, Hospitalization & Possibly Death
    All Dunleavy’s said since November is “it’s up to individuals at this point”. As warnings came in November and December that this variant was the most contagious form of COVID yet, Governor Dunleavy went silent before a public that would have benefited from information. There are reports people have been waiting outside Emergency Rooms with […]
  • Gara has earned Alaskans’ Support
    Anchorage Daily News, 1/24/2022 Hollis French writes “I’m supporting Les Gara for governor in this year’s election. I have worked alongside Les since we were both elected to the Legislature in 2002. I have witnessed firsthand his relentless work ethic. I have collaborated with him on efforts to improve early childhood education, to promote renewable […]
  • Wanted: Leadership
    Alaskans are facing yet another wave of covid-19 around the state, this time in the form of the omicron variant. Read Les Gara’s most recent declarations, calling out Governor Mike Dunleavy for his notable lack of leadership with respect to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Ignoring calls to speak to the public about omicron, Dunleavy goes […]
  • Press Release: Gara Asks Governor To Provide Advice To Alaskans On How To Protect Health, Lives From New COVID Variant.
    Governor Should Hold Press Conference With Experts, Provide Leadership, Before Fast-Spreading Variant Hits Large Numbers of Alaskans National experts are “expecting a surge of COVID-19 cases in the coming days to weeks” from the new, highly infectious COVID variant, Omicron.  “We should get out reliable information to people so they can protect themselves and their families. Alaska […]
  • Candidates for governor, Bill Walker and Les Gara, debate at Alaska Municipal League
  • Gara Makes Election Pitch to Homer
    Les Gara met with the community of Homer recently, pushing job creation, education, supporting a woman’s right to choose, and an ending of oil subsidies. The Peninsula Clarion carried the story.
  • Gara Releases Leg Study on School Cuts; Calls For Strong School Support That Students Deserve
    Legislative Report Shows State Support for Schools Has Fallen $120 Million Since 2015 WhenAdjusted for Inflation As teachers and school districts battle over fair pay, a legislative report shows a big culprit is falling state funds for public education. According to that report, “when adjusted for inflation, the total Foundation Formula funding has decreased in […]
  • Gara: “We need smart leadership, not false rhetoric, to end this pandemic.”
    From the Midnight Sun blog (also published in the Anchorage Daily News). October 6, 2021 “When the COVID pandemic started I assumed we would come together to fight this battle as a team. We can still do that, save lives, and save people from the devastating long-term illness that can come with COVID. We need […]
  • Recent Press: Juneau Empire
    Published in the Juneau Empire September 30, 2021 by Peter Segall Looking to unseat Dunleavy, Les Gara says Alaska doesn’t need austerity Former state Rep. Les Gara, an Anchorage Democrat from 2003-2018, says as governor he wants to make an Alaska where people see a future for themselves. “My core value is that people deserve […]
  • Gara lays out vision for a better future
    KSRM Radio Kenai, September 2021 Former Democratic Rep. Les Gara announced that he would run for governor in 2022. He says that Alaska deserves better than a neglected, shattered economy. Read More
  • News: Dunleavy Puts Big Money Back Into Alaska Politics
    “Governor Dunleavy Has Done Everything In His Power to Put Big Money Back By Wealthy Donors Back In Politics. His Goal Is To Allow His Special Interest Friends To Drown Out Voices of Alaskans Who Can’t Make Those Donations.” In 2006 Alaska voters limited campaign donations to $500 per candidate, to keep wealthy donors from […]