Jim Van Horn is the first candidate to file for one of two three-year seats on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly.
Van Horn is a former Assembly member, served previously on the Ketchikan City Council and was the 2007 Citizen of the Year. He said he loves the community and would bring experience to the Assembly.
“I was chief of staff to Rep. Jim Elkins and after that I worked the office here in Ketchikan for Sen. Bert Stedman,” he said. “I think I bring something to the table: A little more experience and knowledge of the legislative process. But my main concern is the economic development here for the community.”
Van Horn, who is semi-retired, said he’d like to help find ways to diversify Ketchikan’s economy, and provide year-round jobs that would allow younger residents to stay and raise families.
He said examples of potential development include support for the planned Bokan Mountain mining operation on Prince of Wales.
“We should support that fully, looking at the Seley property over on Gravina Island that could be their staging area for here, provide the jobs here in the community as well as out there at the site, and be the hub here for their mining operation,” he said.
Van Horn is active in the American Legion. In 2010 and 2011, he was the aide to the national commander. In that position, he traveled to 47 states and several countries.
Also open this election season are three three-year seats and one two-year seat on the Ketchikan School Board. City of Ketchikan voters will decide on the mayor and two City Council members.