The Democratic candidate for Alaska House District 36 has withdrawn from the Nov. 6 statewide election.
According to the Alaska Division of Election’s webpage, Ghert Abbott of Ketchikan is no longer seeking to represent the district, which includes Ketchikan, Saxman, Metlakatla, Hydaburg and Wrangell.
In an earlier story, he told KRBD his motivation for running was finding a solution to the state’s budget deficit. Abbott advocated a progressive income tax, rather than using a portion of what otherwise would go toward individual Permanent Fund Dividends.
In his statement of withdrawal, Abbott says that since then, incumbent Rep. Dan Ortiz has provided clarity about his position on state revenue options. Abbott says that includes a smaller draw from Permanent Fund earnings, a larger PFD for state residents, and a more diverse state revenue system. Abbott adds that Ortiz has a record of supporting services such as the Pioneers Home, public education and the Alaska Marine Highway System.
Abbott says that while he still opposes any draw on the state’s Permanent Fund to pay for government, Ortiz’s position shows movement in the right direction. Abbott writes that he decided to withdraw in order to not divide the pro-PFD and anti-austerity vote in November.
Abbott was unopposed in the August primary, so he won the Democratic nomination. If he had continued on to the November election, he would have faced Republican candidate Trevor Shaw, and incumbent Ortiz, who is unaffiliated.
Shaw and Ortiz also are both from Ketchikan.
This report has been updated to include information from Abbott’s Statement of Withdrawal.