Pierce to run with Grunwald in his run for Alaska governor

KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Republican Charlie Pierce has picked Edie Grunwald to be his running mate as he runs for governor in Alaska.

Pierce, the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, made the announcement over the weekend, the Peninsula Clarion reported.

Grunwald previously ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, finishing second in that year’s Republican primary to Kevin Meyer, the current office holder.

Under a new voter-approved election system, which will be used for the first time in Alaska this year, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor will run as a team from the outset.

Grunwald said she resigned as chair of the Alaska Parole Board to run. She was appointed to the board by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and designated as chair in 2019. Her son was killed in 2016.

Dunleavy is seeking reelection but has not announced a running mate; Meyer isn’t seeking reelection.

Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Heidi Drygas, both independents, and former state Rep. Les Gara and Jessica Cook, both Democrats, are among the tickets that have filed to run with the state Division of Elections. Candidates have until June 1 to file for the August primary.

Republican Rep. Christopher Kurka has said he is running with Paul Hueper. They have not yet filed with the division.