Candidate Extols Her Small Business Support

By ABIGAIL BLISS
Sentinel Staff Writer
    “I’m a humanitarian. I love people. I love humanity,” Sharon Jackson, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said Wednesday in a talk at the Chamber of Commerce weekly meeting.

Sharon Jackson (Sentinel Photo)


    Originally from Pennsylvania, Jackson came to Alaska in 1983 as part of her service in the U.S. Army, and now makes her home in Anchorage. She has worked for the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Write Your Congressman organization.
    Jackson said her vision for Alaska centers on a revitalized spirit in the state, drawing on the past to inform the state’s future.
    “We need to reinstate, reinvigorate the Alaska pride, where people can be happy, be free, right?” she said. “Alaska was one place you can go, you can work, raise your family, and enjoy life. We need to get back to that.”
    In describing her values, Jackson also emphasized her appreciation for small businesses.
    “My heart is small business because small business is the backbone of this country, of this state, and of this community, and the day we forget that will be a very sad day,” she said.
    Jackson is one of six Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, and one of seven total. In Alaska,  party candidates for lieutenant governor run separately from the candidates for governor in the primary election. The primary election winners are then joined on the ticket in the general election.
    Early in her presentation, Jackson ran through her political priorities.
    Her platform has three main parts: running fair elections, guarding the state seal from misuse, and ensuring Alaskans receive their due through the Permanent Fund Dividends. She said in recent years Alaskans have been shortchanged on the PFD, and “every dime taken” should be returned retroactively.
    Later, in response to a question from audience member Pat Alexander, Jackson detailed what she believes to be her proven political successes.
    She pointed to her work as assistant secretary to the Alaska Republican Party, vice president of the Midnight Sun Republican Women Club, bonus vote in District 13, and delegate to the Republican National Convention (RNC) as examples of her achievements.
    “And, yes, I wanted Donald Trump because, personal opinion, I thought we were falling off a cliff as a nation, and we needed someone that can take that fall, take that hit, so the people can rise back up,” she said of her delegation to the RNC.
    Jackson also highlighted her founding of the Republican Women of Anchorage, and her work to empower small business owners in the state.
    She also shared stories from her personal history, expressing pride at having raised her son as a single parent and overcoming medical adversity of her own, a stroke in 2015 that left her unable to speak and partially paralyzed.
    At the hospital, Jackson said, she successfully worked toward recovery.
    “My room was full of prayers, I mean, prayers from across the world, and I felt like I was under a waterfall, and just could feel these prayers,” she said. “In my mind, there was no way I was going to surrender to that condition... I walked out of that hospital.”
    One caregiver at the hospital told her she would be completely “normal” again, but emphasized the added perspective the experience would give her -- added perspective that Jackson thinks would serve Alaska well.
    “‘You will have insights that you’ve never had before. You will do things differently,’” Jackson remembered being told. “I say Alaska needs a different, a new perspective. It’s like we’ve been in this box and do things the same way, with the same people, expecting different results.”
    Jackson said her slogan, “Alaska’s Bridge to a Brighter Future,” represents an all-encompassing vision for Alaska, and reflects her commitment to creating infrastructure, both literal and abstract.
    “That bridge is many meanings deep, starting from the infrastructure of the roads, infrastructure of  the intelligence, of building our businesses, of communication,” she said. “That bridge is very important.”



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