Andi Story, with her husband, Mike, and son, Ryan, announces her run for the Mendenhall Valley house seat at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, May 31, 2018. ( Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Andi Story, with her husband, Mike, and son, Ryan, announces her run for the Mendenhall Valley house seat at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, May 31, 2018. ( Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau school board member Andi Story will run for Valley House seat

Update: This story has been updated to include comments from Story’s announcement event Thursday afternoon.

Juneau School Board member Andi Story is seeking higher office.

In a public announcement Thursday afternoon, Story declared she is seeking to represent the Mendenhall Valley in the Alaska State Legislature.

“Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a tireless advocate for what I believe in,” she said. “I am ready to be a tireless advocate for Juneau in the state House.”

She made the declaration about 18 hours after the Empire first published a story about her intention to run for office; she declined comment on her candidacy until making the Thursday afternoon address.

Story earned applause from about 40 people gathered in front of the Mendenhall Valley Public Library as she made the announcement in bright sunshine.

Story is a registered Democrat and will run in the Democratic primary election that takes place Aug. 21. The other person registered for that election is independent Rob Edwardson.

Edwardson is a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly as well as a former aide to incumbent Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek a second term after his underdog victory over Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, in 2016.

“I look forward to a healthy discussion. The more candidates the better. It provides more choices to the public,” Edwardson said by phone on Wednesday, soon after the Empire learned of Story’s intention to run for office.

The winner of the election between Story and Edwardson (and any other potential Democratic candidate — the filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday) will advance to the Nov. 6 general election and a likely contest against Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis.

As of Thursday afternoon, Nankervis was the sole person seeking the Republican nomination for House District 34, which covers the Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay and Out the Road.

Nankervis said on Wednesday that Story’s entry does not change his campaign.

“I’m in my campaign to win my campaign regardless of who my opponent is,” he said.

Story is a five-term school board member, having served on the body since winning a seat in 2003. She was last re-elected in 2015, and her current term is expiring this fall. She also served as president of the Association of Alaska School Boards and has three children. On Thursday, she was joined by her husband, Mike, and her son, Ryan.

Story said she is running for office for four principal reasons: The state needs a fiscal plan from the Legislature, education must be prioritized, health care costs must be lowered, and public safety must be improved.

Beyond that, “the key to Alaska moving forward is civility, respect and dialogue amongst all of us,” she said.

She said her 15 years on the school board “has involved a lot of listening and a lot of learning — about what matters to people — especially to those whose voices may not be heard. I intend to do both listening and learning during this campaign.”

After her speech, Story said she had been considering a run for higher office for several years, but she began considering it in earnest during the past few months.

“I want to be at the table up at the Legislature,” she said.

At the time of her address, neither the Alaska Division of Elections nor the Alaska Public Offices Commission listed her candidacy; she said she intended to file the relevant paperwork later Thursday afternoon.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


Andi Story

Andi Story

Andi Story, with her husband, Mike, and son, Ryan, announces her run for the Mendenhall Valley house seat at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, May 31, 2018. ( Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Andi Story, with her husband, Mike, and son, Ryan, announces her run for the Mendenhall Valley house seat at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, May 31, 2018. ( Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

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