Shoshana Gungurstein dropped by the Empire offices for an interview on May 27, 2022 to discuss her run for the U.S. Senate. However, despite running for public office, Gungurstein was vague on her past and said privacy agreements prevented her from discussing her work history. Gungurstein, who is running as an independent, said it is time for a younger generation to hold office. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Shoshana Gungurstein dropped by the Empire offices for an interview on May 27, 2022 to discuss her run for the U.S. Senate. However, despite running for public office, Gungurstein was vague on her past and said privacy agreements prevented her from discussing her work history. Gungurstein, who is running as an independent, said it is time for a younger generation to hold office. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Independent candidate talks Senate bid

Gungurstein shares policy vision, vague details of past.

Shoshana Gungurstein is one of 17 candidates vying for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and in an interview with the Empire said she felt it was time she run for office.

“I couldn’t just sit back and just let generations in the Senate make laws and policies that are affecting my generation and generations to come, ” said Gungurstein, who is running as an independent.

Gungurstein, 38, said she was a businesswoman and entrepreneur and has worked as an investor and consultant in renewable energy, finance, film media and health care. She said her work had taken her all over the world, and many projects had involved renewable energy.

But Gungurstein was also emphatically vague on the details of her work and life. She declined to say which companies she had worked for, citing privacy issues, she also declined to say where she grew up and exactly how long she’s lived in Alaska. Gungurstein said she moved to Juneau during the pandemic but had previously spent time around Anchorage and Palmer and that her total time in Alaska equated to “several years.”

The only company Gungurstein did name was AECOM, a Dallas-based engineering firm listed on the Fortune 500 list, but said she had only worked as a consultant with the company, not directly for it.

[Juneau goes for Gross and Peltola in special primary; Palin, Begich lead the race statewide]

Gungurstein said she graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in biology and has a master’s degree from Loma Linda University and a law degree from Whittier Law School, both in Southern California.

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Gungurstein is a registered and certified candidate for U.S. Senate with the Alaska Division of Elections and her name is listed on the Federal Elections Commission but no expenditures have been reported. Gungurstein has a website, gungurstein.com, but has little other digital presence. She has no Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profiles and Gungurstein said social media was “not my thing,” but that she’s created Instagram and TikTok accounts specifically for her Senate campaign.

Her candidate website describes her as independent, pro-development and pro-privacy. Speaking to the Empire she said she wanted to use Alaska’s rare-earth minerals to fuel an American-made alternative energy industry. Her core priorities, she said, focused on individual liberties, privacy and freedom.

“I’ve seen how Tesla took off,” Gungurstein said. “I’m motivated to emulate that.”

Gungurstein was similarly vague on policy proposals, saying that once elected, she would bring all the industries together to find solutions. She said it was important to work with Indigenous communities on resource extraction, that she supported LGBTQ protections and legislation should be passed protecting abortion rights.

“I am for resource development and extracting with environmentally feasible protocols in place as well as create a balance of extracting resources and weaning off and develop renewables,” Gungurstein said. “It has to happen side-by-side, hand-in-hand.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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