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Bill Thomas drops out of race for House District 3

Bill Thomas drops out of race for House District 3

(Chilkat Valley News file photo)

Haines Republican Bill Thomas indicates he will withdraw from the race for House District 3, although he has not yet formally done so.

Thomas, 77, is a lifelong Chilkat Valley resident and served in the Alaska State House from 2005 to 2012. He registered as a candidate for the seat on May 29.

But just over two weeks into the ballot, Thomas told his friends and supporters that campaigning is time-consuming and disruptive to the commercial fishing season. In a recent interview with Juneau Empire, Thomas said his boat is having a lot of mechanical problems that are keeping him from getting back into fishing.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission still lists him as a candidate on its website, as does the state’s Division of Elections. Elections program manager Brian Jackson confirmed Thomas’ withdrawal and said he spoke with Thomas by phone.

But Jackson said his office has not yet received official paperwork from Thomas to withdraw from the Aug. 20 primary. Candidates have until June 29 to do this.

Thomas’ opponent, incumbent Democrat Andi Story, will join the two other unopposed Juneau candidates, Sen. Jesse Keihl and Rep. Sara Hannan.

Thomas declined an interview request, but Story says she still has a lot of work to do.

“I wish Bill (Thomas) the best in the future. He is a valuable member of the community,” she said.

Story, 65, said she is planning a visit to Haines to meet and get to know people.

This story originally appeared in Chilkat Valley News and is republished here with permission.