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J.R. Myers

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J.R. Myers
J.R. Myers.jpg
Former candidate for
Governor of Alaska
PartyConstitution Party
Leadership
Chairman, Alaska Constitution Party
2010-present
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$15,237
Term limitsN/A
Education
High schoolCharles Marion Russell High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Great Falls (1991)
Master'sUniversity of Great Falls (2001)
Personal
Date of birthJanuary 3, 1963
Place of birthGreat Falls, Montana
ProfessionBehavioral health clinician
Websites
Personal website
Campaign website
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J.R. Myers was a Constitution Party candidate for Governor of Alaska in the 2014 elections. Myers is a behavioral health clinician at Lynn Canal Counseling Services.[1] He founded the Alaska Constitution Party and has served as its chairman since 2010.

Myers submitted over 3,000 petition signatures in order to obtain ballot access for the Alaska Constitution Party. Myers ran on a single ticket with lieutenant gubernatorial mate Maria Rensel in the November 4 general election.[2] J.R. Myers lost the general election on November 4, 2014.

Republican, Democratic, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian Party candidates are not required to petition to appear on the ballot in Alaska, unlike those of the Alaska Constitution Party. At least 3 percent of the 2014 general election vote was required in order for the ACP to be reclassified from a Political Group to a Political Party and share the automatic ballot access privileges of the existing four qualified parties. With Myers running on the ACP line for governor, the 2014 elections were the first opportunity for the party, which was established in 2010, to become ballot qualified.

Myers was previously the Vice Chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, a former affiliate of the ACP.[3][4]

Biography

Born in Great Falls, Montana, Myers spent part of his early childhood in Anchorage, Alaska where his father worked as a HAM radio operator. Myers and his family returned to Montana, where he attended elementary school and high school.[5]

Myers became involved in his community at an early age. Following high school, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Great Falls Native American Association and Health Clinic. He also assisted in the founding of the Great Falls NAACP. While living in Great Falls, Myers earned his B.S. in Liberal Arts, M.S. in Human Services and M.S. in Professional Counseling from the University of Great Falls.[5]

Myers also considered himself a Reagan Republican and served as a Republican Precinct Committeeman and on the Flathead County Republican Central Committee. He also worked with the Montana Republican Party and served as chair for the Libertarian and Reform Parties.[5]

In 2003, Myers moved to Alaska. There he became a member of the Alaskan Independence Party eventually becoming AIP Vice Chair. In 2010, he founded and chaired the Alaska Constitution Party, a formal affiliate of the national Constitution Party.[5]

Myers currently works as a behavioral health clinician at Lynn Canal Counseling Services in Haines, Alaska. He has worked as a professional counselor for over 15 years.[5]

Education

  • Charles Marion Russell High School
  • Bachelor of Science - College of Great Falls (1991)
  • Master of Human Services - University of Great Falls (1997)
  • Master of Professional Counseling - University of Great Falls (2001)

Elections

2014

See also: Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014

Myers ran for election as Governor of Alaska on the Alaska Constitution Party line. Because Alaska does not recognize the Constitution Party as an official political party, Myers and running mate Maria Rensel were each required to submit petitions to qualify for a joint slot on the general election ballot.[6] Their petitions were verified by the State Division of Elections in August, earning the Alaska Constitution Party Gov/Lt. Gov ticket its first ever appearance on the November ballot.[7] J.R. Myers lost the general election on November 4, 2014.

Results

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Independent Green check mark transparent.pngBill Walker/Byron Mallott 48.1% 134,658
     Republican Sean Parnell/Dan Sullivan Incumbent 45.9% 128,435
     Libertarian Carolyn "Care" Clift/Andrew C. Lee 3.2% 8,985
     Constitution J.R. Myers/Maria Rensel 2.5% 6,987
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 893
Total Votes 279,958
Election Results via Alaska Division of Elections.

Race background

Timeline
  • May 3, 2013: Incumbent Sean Parnell (R) announces bid for re-election as Alaska Governor
  • October 20, 2013: Alaska Democratic Party's central committee votes unanimously to back Democratic candidate Byron Mallott, the party's earliest ever gubernatorial endorsement vote
  • August 19, 2014: Parnell re-nominated in Republican primary; Mallott wins ADL primary
  • August 19, 2014: Alaska Constitution Party candidate J.R. Myers certified to appear on ballot
  • September 1, 2014: Alaska Democratic Party's central committee votes 89-2 to reject the Mallott-led Democratic gubernatorial ticket; forms "Alaska First Unity Ticket" led by Bill Walker (I), with Mallott as Lt. Gov.
  • September 17, 2014: Alaska Republican Party district chair files lawsuit against state election authorities for allowing ticket merger
  • September 26, 2014: Unity ticket upheld by Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock
  • October 21, 2014: Former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin endorses independent unity ticket of Walker and Mallott
  • November 14, 2014: Walker and Mallott are declared the winners of the heavily contested race, 10 days after the general election.

Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell was first elected in 2010 and sought a second term in 2014. Parnell considered a bid for Congress in the 2014 electoral cycle, but ultimately settled on running for re-election as governor, announcing his decision in May 2013.[8][9] By the following May, Parnell appeared to be in strong standing for re-election. A Public Policy Poll showed the incumbent leading three potential general election opponents by at least 10 points, while The Cook Political Report released another round of 2014 governors race ratings and labeled the Alaska Governor seat as "Solid Republican" under Parnell.[10] Parnell ultimately lost the November 4 general election to Republican-turned-Independent Bill Walker. The outcome of the close gubernatorial race remained unknown 10 days after the polls closed as additional ballots were counted.[11]

Parnell defeated three challengers - Gerald L. "Tap" Heikes, Russ Millette and Brad Snowden - to secure the Republican Party's re-nomination in the August 19 primary. The Democratic-Libertarian-Independence (or "ADL") primary ballot included Democrats Byron Mallott and Phil Stoddard, as well as uncontested Libertarian nominee Carolyn "Care" Clift. Mallott received the highest number of votes in the ADL primary, and was set to advance as the Democratic nominee to the general election along with Parnell, Clift, Bill Walker (independent) and J.R. Myers (Alaska Constitution Party), until a ticket merger with Walker relegated him to the lieutenant governor spot.[12][13]

Republican, Democratic, Alaskan Independence and Libertarian Party candidates do not need to petition to appear on the ballot in Alaska.[14] This year, Alaska Constitution Party Chairman J.R. Myers, the party's first viable candidate for governor since its establishment in 2010, wanted to add the Alaska Constitution Party to the list. Myers succeeded in submitting the required 3,017 valid petition signatures by August 19 for a place on the November ballot. If he earned a minimum of 3 percent of the 2014 general election vote, the Constitution Party would have been reclassified from a political group to a political party and shared the same ballot access privileges as the existing four qualified parties. The Alaska Constitution Party was previously affiliated with the Alaskan Independence Party, of which Myers served two years as vice chairman. Myers garnered 2.5 percent of the vote by the end of the vote count, falling short of the minimum threshold.[15][16]

Fusion ticket

Weeks after the primary, the State Democratic Party's central committee voted 89-2 to reject the Mallott-led Democratic gubernatorial ticket and instead supported an alternative "fusion" ticket pairing Mallott with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker.[17] The spontaneous formation of the Walker/Mallott "Alaska First Unity Ticket" caused a dramatic shakeup of the general election tickets for both governor and lieutenant governor, since it necessitated the withdrawal of two qualified candidates, Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Hollis French and Walker's original running mate Craig Fleener, who resigned from his post as state deputy fish and game commissioner to run with Walker.[18] Walker and Mallott won the general election by a 2 percent margin.

Almost one year prior to the shuffle, the Alaska Democratic Party voted unanimously to back Mallott for governor. The party stated that Mallott's was their earliest ever gubernatorial endorsement vote, citing the members' approval of the candidate's "public service, business experience and 'progressive' values."[19] Though eventually stripped of the Democratic nomination and demoted to the lieutenant governor slot, Mallott, chose to retain his membership with the party through the merger, an option not afforded to Walker, who was forced to relinquish his Republican Party registration.[20]

One of the driving forces behind the ticket merger was the Alaska AFL-CIO's decision to boycott the three-way governor's race, echoing the popular complaint among Parnell opponents that the overcrowded arrangement essentially rigged the election in favor of the incumbent.[17] The AFL-CIO, which is a leading contributor to campaigns in Alaska and nationwide, implied it would get involved if circumstances presented a fair fight against Parnell in November, and indeed went on to support the newly formed ticket.

Lawsuit

Soon after state election chief Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the Alaska Division of Elections granted permission for the campaigns to join forces on September 2, Steven Strait, a district chair for the Alaska Republican Party, filed a lawsuit challenging the order and requesting the ballot be restored to its pre-merger state. The original lineup gave Parnell a distinct advantage, but Strait and other lawsuit proponents insisted the challenge was not politically motivated. "French and Fleener did not resign as candidates for lieutenant governor out of any emergency, but instead resigned solely because they were asked and pressured to do so," Strait asserted, in contrast with the precedent-setting 2006 case wherein an independent lieutenant gubernatorial candidate quit the race at the eleventh hour and the State Division of Elections issued an emergency regulation to give his running mate, Andrew Halcro, the chance to name a replacement.[21] As thousands of overseas ballots had already been mailed, an expedited ruling was scheduled for September 26, whereupon Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock decided in favor of the elections authorities. To back up his ruling, Suddock cited a different precedent than the one Strait put forth, involving a similar ballot reconfiguration during the 1990 gubernatorial race which was challenged and ultimately upheld by the Alaska Supreme Court. In that case, the Alaskan Independence Party ticket bowed out and the Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor joined forces to take over their ticket, requiring the latter to withdraw from the lieutenant gubernatorial race.[22]

Endorsements

Bill Walker received the endorsement of former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) prior to the general election.[23]

Polls

General election
All candidates

Governor of Alaska: All candidates
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Bill Walker (I)Carolyn "Care" Clift (L)J.R. Myers (C)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
September 18-21, 2014
41%42%3%2%13%+/--880
HAI
September 26-October 2, 2014
46%38%4%2%10%+/-4.9400
Hellenthal & Associates
October 15-21, 2014
44.3%42.5%3.8%0.8%8.6%+/-4.88403
Public Policy Polling
November 1-2, 2014
45%46%2%2%5%+/-31,052
AVERAGES 44.08% 42.13% 3.2% 1.7% 9.15% +/-0.75 683.75
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Parnell vs. Walker

Governor of Alaska: Parnell vs. Walker
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Bill Walker (I)Undecided/OtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ivan Moore Research Poll (Internal)
June 19-23, 2014
46.3%45.1%8.6%+/-4.05584
Public Policy Poll
July 31-August 3, 2014
41%40%19%+/-3.8673
Hays Research/Walker (I)
August 20-22, 2014
40%43%15%+/-4.5474
Hays Research (D-Alaska AFL-CIO/Walker)
September 13-14, 2014
30%37%31%+/-4.38500
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
40%45%15%+/-5593
CNN/ORC
October 1-6, 2014
45%51%4%+/-31,015
Rasmussen Reports
October 8-12, 2014
41%50%9%+/-4700
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
42%39%20%+/-9561
AVERAGES 40.66% 43.76% 15.2% +/-4.72 637.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical match-ups
Hypothetical match-up: Parnell vs. Mallott

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Byron Mallott (D)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ivan Moore Research Poll (Internal)
June 19-23, 2014
34.0%54.9%11.1%+/-4.05584
Public Policy Poll
July 31-August 3, 2014
48%37%14%+/-3.8673
AVERAGES 41% 45.95% 12.55% +/-3.93 628.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical match-up: Parnell vs. Mallott vs. Walker

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Byron Mallott (D)Bill Walker (I)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ivan Moore Research Poll (Internal)
June 19-23, 2014
42%16%29%13%+/-4.05584
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical match-up: Five-way race

Governor of Alaska
Poll Sean Parnell* (R) Care Clift (L)Byron Mallott (D)J.R. Myers (C)Bill Walker (I)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
January 30-February 1, 2014
41%0%25%3%16%15%+/-3.4850
Public Policy Pollingl
May 8-11, 2014
37%0%27%4%17%15%+/-4.1582
Public Policy Polling
July 31-August 3, 2014
37%3%22%2%20%16%+/-3.8673
AVERAGES 38.33% 1% 24.67% 3% 17.67% 15.33% +/-3.77 701.67
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
**Due to the nature of the comparison, a placeholder figure of 0% is assigned to candidates not included in any given match-up round



J.R. Meyers' first campaign video for 2014 governor race

Campaign themes

The following were excerpts of campaign issues supported by the Constitution Party listed on Myers' campaign website:


Gun rights
"The right of individuals and of citizen militias to keep and bear arms, including legally concealed weapons; and the freedom to manufacture, purchase, trade and train in the use of such weapons and their constituent parts including the unfettered acquisition of ammunition"

Property rights
"We seek to amend the Constitution of the State of Alaska to re-establish the rights of all Alaskan residents to entry upon all public lands within the state, and to acquire private property interest therein, under fair and reasonable conditions. Such property interest shall include surface and sub-surface patent."

Elections
"Providing for the direct popular election of the Alaska Attorney General and all Alaska judges and magistrates"

Jury Nullification
"The right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts, according to their conscience"

Property taxes
"eventually eliminate property taxes altogether"

Social issues
"Strengthening the traditional family and supporting individual accountability without unwarranted government interference or regulation. This includes support of the educational rights of parents to privately or home school their children"[24]

—The Alaska Constitution Party[25]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Myers is available dating back to 2014. Based on available campaign finance records, Myers raised a total of $15,237 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 30, 2015.[26]

J.R. Myers's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 Governor of Alaska Defeated $15,237
Grand Total Raised $15,237

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of J.R. Myers's donors each year.[27] Click [show] for more information.


Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Juneau Empire, "Constitution party leader plans run for governor," October 1, 2013
  2. Ballot Access News, "Constitution Party Has Enough Valid Signatures in Alaska," August 25, 2014
  3. Independent Political Report, "Constitution Party Candidate for Alaska," October 1, 2013
  4. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "A Brief History of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP)," accessed May 22, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 J.R. Myers for Alaska Governor 2014: "Bio," accessed November 3, 2013
  6. J.R. Myers for Alaska Lieutenant Governor 2014: "Nominating petition," accessed November 3, 2013
  7. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Official Candidate List, November 4, 2014 General Election Candidate List," accessed August 26, 2014
  8. Anchorage Daily News, "Parnell says he'll seek re-election as governor," May 3, 2013 (dead link)
  9. Juneau Empire, "Treadwell: 'No interest' in primary against Parnell," December 4, 2012
  10. Cook Political Report, "2014 Governors Race Ratings," May 16, 2014
  11. Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election Results," accessed November 17, 2014
  12. Ballot Access News, "Constitution Party Has Enough Valid Signatures in Alaska," August 25, 2014
  13. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "August 19, 2014 Primary Candidate List," accessed August 19, 2014
  14. Ballot Access News, "Alaska Gubernatorial Poll Suggests Constitution Party May Win Qualified Status for First Time," May 20, 2014
  15. Independent Political Report, "Constitution Party Candidate for Alaska," October 1, 2013
  16. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "A Brief History of the Alaska Constitution Party (ACP)," accessed May 22, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker, Mallott to join forces in governor's race," September 1, 2014
  18. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Walker chooses Fleener as running mate in Independent bid for governor," October 14, 2013
  19. The Anchorage Daily-News, "Democrats endorse Mallott for governor," October 21, 2013 (dead link)
  20. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "2014 General Election candidates," accessed September 5, 2014
  21. Tribtown.com, "Expedited ruling sought in lawsuit alleging error in Alaska governor's race decision," September 18, 2014
  22. Alaska Dispatch News, "Judge rules Walker-Mallott ticket can stand," September 26, 2014
  23. National Journal, "Palin Endorses Independent-Democratic Ticket for Alaska Governor Against GOP Successor," October 24, 2014
  24. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  25. J.R. Myers for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Issues," accessed October 6, 2014
  26. "Contributions to J.R. Myers and Maria Rensel," accessed March 30, 2015
  27. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015