Ketchikan Representative Kyle Johansen has dropped out of the August Republican primary race. But he plans to run as an independent candidate in the November general election.
Johansen filed months ago to run for the Ketchikan-based House seat he’s held for three terms.
He faced three other GOP candidates: Wrangell incumbent Representative Peggy Wilson, Ketchikan Visitors Bureau Executive Director Patti Mackey, and Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly Member Agnes Moran.
Reapportionment put Wrangell in the same House district as Ketchikan.
If his petition is approved, Johansen will appear on the November ballot as a non-affiliated candidate. He will face the Republican primary winner and a Democratic, if one files.
Ketchikan City Council Member and Democrat Matt Olsen put in paperwork needed to raise campaign funds. But as of Thursday night, the state elections website did not list him as a candidate.
The filing deadline is 5 p.m. today (Friday, June 1).
Some Ketchikan Republicans tried to recall Johansen after he left the House Republican Majority Caucus, where he held one of the top positions. That effort did not succeed, but recall organizers said they would try to bump him off the ballot during the August primary.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.