KODIAK — Our Revolution, the political action organization that spun out of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, has endorsed Dennis Harris, a 27-year-old Kodiak native running to unseat two-term incumbent Louise Stutes in Alaska’s District 32.
“He is a smart, capable and principled young man who is truly committed to changing Alaska for the better,” a July 13 statement from the organization reads.
Harris, a Kodiak High School class of 2009 graduate who recently earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California, said he was encouraged by the announcement.
“Honestly, it was one of the biggest endorsements for me,” he said. ”I’m a fan of Bernie. I like his authenticity and how he fights for hardworking people.”
Our Revolution, launched in August 2016, seeks to help elect progressive candidates to local and national seats. It formed in the wake of the 2016 Democratic primaries, where Sanders surprised some by winning 23 states, including Alaska, where he won 82 percent of the vote against the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The organization said it supports Harris’ positions on healthcare, energy, Native issues and the economy.
“He is committed to growing our economy from the bottom up by fighting cuts to our PFD — which hurt poorer people the most,” the statement reads. “And fighting to raise our minimum wage.”
A political newcomer, Harris — who will run unopposed in the Democratic primary — will face a tough challenge in the general election.
He’ll be up against either a two-term incumbent and former Kodiak business owner Louise Stutes or Richard Walker, a city council member who’s received the support of the state GOP.
Harris said he’s using a grassroots campaign to influence voters in Kodiak. He has knocked on hundreds of doors, he said, and will host a meet-and-greet at the Kodiak Island Brewing Company next Thursday. He’ll also be traveling to Cordova — another city within District 32 — in the coming weeks.
“I’ve been having genuine interactions with people, explaining my policies on health care, education, increasing the minimum wage and protecting the PFD,” he said. “These are things people can really get behind.”
The general election will be held on November 6.