“Manhattan’s certainly a different world,” Eddie Burke, who’s running for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, said to me during a recent interview. And he’s right – it most certainly is. Within the first two or three minutes of our conversation, I recognized that down-to-earth quality I don’t see too often in my Manhattan world, one that appeals to me so much in candidates and political figures.
I could tell that there wasn’t an elitist bone in his body. And from that point on, he had my interest.
The son of a cop and a stay-at-home mom, Burke’s been married for twenty-eight years and is a father of four and grandfather of three. He’s been a small-business owner and has lived in Alaska for nearly forty years, having moved there from California in 1971.
“I found my conservative values at eighteen years of age when I joined the US. Navy in 1980,” he said. “President Reagan was my Commander-in-Chief. It was through his words and actions that I solidified my understanding of the role of government.” He added, “My actions as a government official will always be dedicated to enabling individuals and businesses to move forward, and to create economic opportunities with as little government intervention as possible. Government’s role is simple – protect life, liberty, and property.”
Burke revealed that he was motivated to run for lieutenant governor when Alaska’s current Lt. Governor who had been appointed by Sarah Palin, Craig Campbell, decided not to run for election in 2010. “Lt. Governor Craig Campbell is a well-known conservative and his departure meant Alaskans would lose that voice,” Burke said. “The decision to run for office, or potentially win the race, was never about me. It was about allowing a conservative voice to be heard.”
When asked about his platform, Burke revealed that “Recently, I addressed the Fairbanks, Alaska, Chamber of Commerce. When I was asked what I would do for Fairbanks, my response was straightforward: I do not want to do anything for you or for Fairbanks. Instead, I want you to be able to do something for yourself.” Here’s what Burke had to say regarding what he defined as “issues that are very important to me”:
1. Individual liberty and sovereignty: “When the individual is empowered to achieve, others will prosper from his or her work.”
2. State sovereignty: “The Tenth Amendment is essential. It allows as much individual control over our own lives as possible.” He added, “The states know best how to govern their people.”
3. Abortion: “Life begins at conception.”
4. Second Amendment: “The Second Amendment provides the guarantee for all of the other amendments. The Second Amendment is an individual, God-given right.”
5. U.S. Military: “It is imperative that Americans continue to build a strong national defense. It is through a powerful national defense that we continue to be a free people.”