- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Rep. Tammie Wilson has filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

The letter filed Wednesday puts Wilson and presiding officer of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, Karl Kassel, as the only declared candidates. More candidates are likely to enter the race once the filing period opens Aug. 3, reported The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1HATgvD).

Wilson, a North Pole Republican, said she decided to run for mayor after spending weeks gathering signatures for a ballot measure that aims to loosen regulations on wood burning.

“I sat on the sidewalk for a couple of weeks and the majority of things I heard are that people are tired of the borough making more and more regulations and telling them how they should live,” Wilson said. “We just can’t go three more years on the path that we have been going.”

Wilson has served in the state House since being appointed in 2009, the same year she lost a bid for borough mayor against Luke Hopkins.

Kassel, the former head of the borough Parks and Recreation Department, is serving his second term on the assembly. He filed his letter of intent months ago.

“I’m not surprised. I was fully expecting some other candidates in the field,” he said. “I guess it gives people choices, which is a good thing. Our community will have the opportunity to choose a direction.”

Qualified candidates for borough office must be registered to vote in Alaska and have lived in the borough for a year before filing for the position.

The borough mayor earns an annual salary of $104,400.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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