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Four candidates will compete to represent House District 38 on the lower Kuskokwim

Voters lined up to cast their ballots in the Nov. 8 midterm election in Bethel.
Gabby Salgado
Voters lined up to cast their ballots in the Nov. 8 midterm election in Bethel.

Four candidates have filed to run in the race to represent the lower Kuskokwim Delta in the Alaska State House.

District 38 covers lower Kuskokwim communities, including Akiachak, Akiak, Atmautluak, Bethel, Chefornak, Chevak, Eek, Kasigluk, Kipnuk, Kongiganak, Kwethluk, Kwigillingok, Mekoryuk, Napakiak, Napaskiak, Newtok, Nightmute, Nunapitchuk, Oscarville, Quinhagak, Toksook Bay, Tuluksak, Tuntutuliak, and Tununak.

Incumbent Bethel Democrat Rep. Conrad “CJ” McCormick will run for re-election to represent House District 38 against challengers Willy Keppel of Quinhagak, who according to the Alaska Division of Elections is registered with the Registered Veterans of Alaska party, Bethel Democrat Victoria Sosa, and Toksook Bay Democrat Nellie Jimmie.

McCormick is wrapping up his first term in office in the state legislature, serving as the youngest legislator in the state house since 2023. During his time in the legislature he’s focused on a variety of issues, including education and infrastructure funding, addressing the state’s salmon crises, increased communication and awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP), and bolstering tribal representation in fisheries management.

His challengers have varying levels of previous campaign experience.

Veterans’ Party candidate Willy Keppel of Quinhagak has previously run to represent District 38 in 2018 and 2020, and for state Senate Seat S in 2022. His previous campaigns have focused on prioritizing the Permanent Fund Dividend payment and lowering the cost of living for people on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Bethel Democrat Victoria Sosa hasn’t previously run to represent District 38, but served as deputy treasurer for incumbent Rep. McCormick in his initial bid for state house in 2022. According to her campaign website, Sosa’s campaign focuses include protecting subsistence rights, raising awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), and addressing high rates of sexual violence in the region.

Nellie Unangiq Jimmie of Toksook Bay is also a newcomer to the state house race. As of June 2, Jimmie had not publicly published information about her campaign.

The deadline to file candidacy closed at 5 p.m. on June 1. Write-in candidates may file intent to run as a write-in candidate until Oct. 31.

Alaska’s primary election day this year is Aug. 20. The primary determines the top four vote-getting candidates who will advance to the general election. With four candidates running to represent House District 38, all four will presumably make it onto the general election ballot on Nov. 5.

Sage Smiley is KYUK's news director.