House Representative Don Young has newfound competition in the upcoming house election. Democratic candidate Doug Urquidi, of Eagle River, is running against Young in the race to become Alaska’s sole representative. Urquidi, 46, says that his campaign is all about bringing the focus back on Alaska.
“It’s time for Alaska to start getting a bigger piece of the pie that it has in the past. We need to keep jobs in state whatever it takes, we really need to think outside of the box.”
Urquidi explains that his campaign, though run under the democratic ticket, is really about support from all citizens who wish to improve the state.
“We all want the same things, what’s good for Alaska, it’s just a different way of looking at it. My campaign is called Alaskans 4 Doug, it’s an all inclusive movement.”
Were Young to be reelected in November, it would be his 21st term in office; a fact that Urquidi says is not beneficial to Alaska.
Some of Urquidi’s campaign goals include lower taxes, wiser spending decisions and the introduction of term limits for members of Congress.
As an Army veteran of the Gulf War, Urquidi believes that more should be done to improve healthcare for honorably discharged veterans. Additionally, Urquidi has expressed his support for programs designed to help victims of domestic violence and post traumatic stress disorder.
Urquidi previously ran against Bill Starr for the Anchorage assembly in 2011 but his campaign was ultimately unsuccessful. Following the results of the election, Urquidi announced his bid for the House of Representatives.
Though Urquidi does not have an extensive political background, he believes that his technical experience will help him to create new opportunities for Alaska. As an electrician with a degree in project management, Urquidi says that he understands the need for innovation and will support resource development to better Alaska’s future.
Urquidi says that he would like to see the construction of a power plant on Alaska’s North Slope to enable the state to capture some of the unutilized natural gas that is currently burnt off. Urquidi believes that the project would create jobs for Alaskans and help to improve energy sustainability for the state.
Though excited about the prospect of helping to improve Alaska, Urquidi admits that his most pressing problem is the lack of name recognition as compared to Young.
“Visibility is the biggest problem right now, obviously we don’t have the resources that Don Young has.”
This is a major concern for Urquidi as funding, or the lack thereof, can make or break a political campaign. The matter of campaign resources has not gone unnoticed by voters, especially students.
Brandon Holmquist, a sophomore pursing a degree in Aviation Management, expressed his concern about the lack of resources in reference to the Urquidi campaign.
“It’s too bad about politics these days; it’s all a money game. You can have the best ideas, but without money it’s just incredibly hard to get your name out there.”
Nevertheless, Urquidi believes that his campaign has the potential to succeed come Election Day.
“I would say that I have around a 95% chance in November, I truly think that it can be done. I think that Alaskans are ready for something different.”
Though Don Young was unavailable for comment, he has previously stated in a press release that he anticipates, “returning to D.C. in 2013 and welcoming a Republican President to office and getting this country back on track.”
For Urquidi however, his campaign is focused upon meeting with voters to discuss some of the issues important to them.
“My webpage has my personal cell listed, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to contact me about issues important to them. I am accountable, if I vote for something that people don’t like then I expect them to let me know.”
Urquidi’s promise to interact with constituents doesn’t just hold true for the election, the candidate says that, if elected, he plans to maintain that level of transparency for the duration of his term.
“When I do get to Washington, I want to come back and have face-to-face meetings with people. I vote they way they want, not necessarily how I want.”
Though Urquidi has a long way to go before the November elections he remains confident that his campaign will be successful. He thinks that voters will respond to his “common sense” approach to government and that their voices will be heard in November.
“You have the power in 2012,” declared Urquidi.