Switcheroo: Rep. McKay will challenge Senator Claman, Mia Costello will run for the House of Representatives

Rep. Tom McKay (R – Anchorage) is withdrawing from the race for the 15th Congressional District to challenge Senator Matt Claman (D – Anchorage). Former Republican Senator Mia Costello will run for McKay's seat in the House of Representatives.

McKay, who was first elected in 2020, defeated Democrat Denny Wells by just seven votes in 2022 after votes were recounted using ranked-choice voting. Wells is running for the seat again. Perennial candidate Dustin Darden has also filed for the seat as a Democrat.

Costello served in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015 and in the Senate from 2015 to 2023. Claman, then a representative, defeated Costello by nearly four points in 2022 to win the Senate seat.

In redistricting in 2022, Costello was merged with former Senator Natasha von Imhof. While Costello did not represent what is now the 15th District when she was in the Senate, she did represent the area when she was in the House of Representatives.

Former Republican Rep. Liz Vazquez has also filed to challenge Claman. However, with Costello now in the race, Vazquez may consider running for the House 16th District seat instead. That seat is currently held by Rep. Jennie Armstrong (D – Anchorage), who defeated Vazquez by more than 10 points in 2022.

However, Armstrong is not seeking re-election. Democrat Carolyn Hall has filed for the seat and currently has no challengers.

The deadline to apply for legislative candidacy is June 1 at 5 p.m.

Anna Harden

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