Contributed by Karen Kowalke
Alaska is, without any doubt, the greatest place on Earth. The majestic mountains and crisp clear waters create the perfect backdrop for the day-to-day lives of the strongest and most adventurous people in the country. The Mat-Su Valley is one of the ultimate jewels in Alaska. The Last Frontier is aptly nicknamed. The sight of our great state quickly makes even the toughest skeptic believe in love at first sight.
I’ve been proud to raise my family right here in Alaska. I’m even more proud of the love and dedication my husband, Randall Kowalke, has had for Alaska and for the Mat-Su Valley since we originally came to the Last Frontier in 1975.
Early on in our time in Alaska, Randall’s career illustrated his diverse nature of his unique talents. As the general sales manager at Alaska Industrial Hardware (AIH), he improved profitability. Later, as a project manager for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and then VP of a multi-million-dollar oilfield service contractor, Randall established his ability and aptitude in seeing through complex projects from beginning to completion, and in doing so, made his mark on Alaska’s developing resource infrastructure.
Through the large and varied number of leadership roles that Randall has held, including, vice president, marketing manager, general manager and project manager, he has built his knowledge and skillsets and improved the bottom line of each company he has worked for.
Randall has also served his community in many other ways, such as, Chairman of the Alaska Economic Development Alliance Board and Make it Alaskan. The chairman for the ANWR Committee on the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, Director for the Alaska Resource Development Council as well as the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, as a small business owner and currently as a member of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly.
From all of this experience, Randall has learned many different lessons, but one stands out amongst the rest – work for people, not for party.
My husband is a proud Republican, but isn’t a partisan apologist. He knows that the most important thing about serving the community, either in the public sector or the non-profit sector, is the people that he serves. He takes their issues seriously and commits himself fully to making the right decisions and doing what he can to make his community a better place to live, for everybody.
He understands there are important issues facing Alaska right now. He wants to fix the glaring flaws in SB91, to help keep Alaskans safe. He understands that we must look at the root causes of crime, not politically-motivated “solutions”.
He wants to protect the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend in the Alaska State Constitution to ensure that Alaskans receive their full dividend every year.
He believes that Alaska's state government is too large and spending is too high.
He supports an audit of all state spending in every department and program. Alaska must return to mission-critical and constitutional expenditures only and establish a constitutionally driven spending cap.
He understands the importance of rural Alaska in Alaska’s economy and knows that a strong rural economy will result in a robust Alaskan economy. He believes that Alaska must create an environment to grow the private economy, not the government sector and remove high-cost barriers to doing business in Alaska.
We need to build stronger partnerships between Alaska Native corporations and the State of Alaska for economic diversification, and we must build infrastructure for economic stimulation and diversification.
Randall is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather to 8 grandkids. One of the things I admire the most about him is that he never fails to step forward when his community needs him. His priority of putting principles before politics has gained him respect from people on both sides of the aisle. He has proven his ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of political views.
Clearly, in my opinion, he is exactly what the people of Alaska and the people of the Mat-Su Valley need in a leader. He is uniquely qualified, for all of these reasons, to lead. I would ask you to take the time to look at his website, www.randallkowalke.com, and to contact us if you have any questions. Randall Kowalke is the right leader, at the right time at this very important crossroads in Alaska’s history.