Carol Hafner’s feet have never even touched Alaskan soil, but that isn’t stopping her from running for a Congressional seat in the state.
Hafner, a 65-year-old New Jerseyan, attracted the attention of the state Democratic party leaders when her campaign filings showed up with a New Jersey address. Her son Eric Hafner ran a similar campaign in Oregon using the same New Jersey address, but lost that state’s primary in May.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Hafner explained that she’s perfectly within her rights as a citizen under the US Constitution to run for a congressional seat in a state that is not her own. Turns out, she knows her stuff: the Constitution states that a candidate must be 25 years of age, and must be living in the state they represent when elected.
So, if Hafner wins Alaska’s primary, she’ll relocate. That primary is TODAY, so hopefully she’s got a Uhaul on hand back in Jersey!
So is she an opportunistic interloper or just a caring patriot attuned to a state in need? To hear her tell it, it’s the latter.
Having experienced the ravages of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Hafner has a keen interest in climate change. And when it comes to that issue, Alaska is on the national forefront—Alaska is already feeling the impact in life-changing ways.
“It’s just not stopping,” she told Huffington Post, “and the people who really need help in dealing with all of this, unless we reach out and help each other, those people are just innocent victims in all this, and that’s just not acceptable to me.”
But her opponent, 23-term incumbent Republican Don Young—who at 45 years in office is the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives—has other goals. For instance, he thinks the Holocaust could have been avoided if European Jews had owned guns…
And he’s suggested that the solution to the state’s homeless problem is… wolves …
So, you know, you can do the math on how the Representative nick-named “Crazy Uncle Don” might fare with Alaskans who care about climate change and other, shall we say, “mainstream” issues…
But on social media, while some seem firmly on her side:
(Note that the WaPo’s tweet is in error: Hafner would be the state’s first female Representative. Lisa Murkowksi became the state’s first female congressperson in 2002.)
Some admired her tenacity:
Others found this whole thing kind of bizarre:
For the most part, people are skeptical at best:
How does Hafner square her lack of experience with the state?
“The learning curve, I can do it,” she told Huffington Post. “But you cannot teach someone ethics and integrity. It’s in their character. And I’ve always done the right thing.”
We’ll see what Alaskans think later tonight!