Sharon Cissna

Candidate Profile |

Sharon Cissna emerged from a five-way Democratic primary in August 2012 to win her party's nomination for Alaska's lone U.S. House seat despite raising very little money.

Cissna was perhaps the best known of the candidates, having served in the state House since 1998, where her focus has been health and education issues.

She gained national attention in 2011, when she refused a pat-down at a Seattle airport. Cissna, a breast cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy, underwent a full-body scan but was singled out for a further pat-down search, her second, she said, within three months. She likened the pat-down to assault and said she'd vowed to never endure one again. Unable to board the flight, she wound up taking the long way back to Juneau for the legislative session, a nearly 900-mile journey that included a cab and rental car, small airplane ride and ferry.

Her experience turned her into an unlikely hero, resulting in an outpouring of support. It also prompted the state Legislature to pass a resolution urging the Transportation Security Administration to reconsider its use of full-body pat-downs and calling on Congress to exercise greater oversight over the agency.

She introduced several pieces of legislation during the 2012 legislative session aimed at the TSA, but they went nowhere.

On her campaign website, Cissna says her experiences, which resulted in more than 2,000 emails, calls and letters, "cement my concern and commitment to safeguard health, safety and our constitutional rights."

She avoids airports with TSA screening and has been able to campaign across the state using a range of transportation alternatives, including small planes and her motor home.

While pushing back against the TSA is a central piece of her platform, Cissna says it's not the only issue that she's running on. She says she wants to find ways to grow Alaska's economy, and is willing to work across party lines.

She said she and Republican Rep. Don Young agree the TSA is wrong in its approach, but she doesn't believe he's taken a forceful enough stance against the agency. She said she hears from Alaskans they are dissatisfied with the federal government and an erosion of constitutional freedoms, and she wants to safeguard those freedoms.

American Conservative Union Rating: Not rated

Americans for Democratic Action Rating: Not rated

Source: Associated Press

Race Snapshot: Alaska House District 1

Candidates:

Sharon Cissna (D)

Don Young (R)


More Candidates

  • Presidential
  • Senate
  • House
  • Gubernatorial

Latest Headlines

3:03 PM EDT
FRIDAY,
MAR 14
Article

Phil Klay's story collection 'Redeployment' debuts at No. 10 on the hardback fiction list

The books Washington has been reading.

5:05 PM EST
FRIDAY,
MAR 7
Article

Robyn Carr's 'The Chance' debuts at No. 2 on the paperback fiction list

The books Washington has been reading.

7:07 PM EST
TUESDAY,
JAN 14
Article

From Christie to Gates, selling bridge stories and books can present challenges

Gates missteps before book goes on sale; Christie has a lot more explaining to do about 'Bridgegate'

11:11 AM EST
MONDAY,
JAN 13
Blog

Blooper of the week, and it's only Monday morning!

Vice President Biden's office temporarily moved the Israeli parliament from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

10:10 AM EDT
SATURDAY,
OCT 26
Article

Elizabeth George and Nobel laureate Alice Munro at number 1 on fiction hardback, paperback lists

The books Washington has been reading.

8:08 PM EDT
TUESDAY,
AUG 27
Article

Black Republicans try to appropriate Martin Luther King

All the prominent black Republicans in America really can fit into one room.

10:10 AM EDT
MONDAY,
JUN 10
Blog

Never heard of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board? You should.

A civil liberties board was created back in 2004. But it's never been truly functional. What happened?

9:09 AM EST
THURSDAY,
FEB 7
Article

In the Loop: Interior pick could watch, but not deliver, a State of the Union address

The interior secretary nominee, born in Britain, isn't eligible for the presidential line of succession.

10:10 AM EDT
THURSDAY,
OCT 25
Article

October, yes. Surprise, no.

Al Kamen's In the Loop examines the not-so-surprising recent history of the so-called "October surprise," including this year's Donald Trump edition.

PROJECT: Wilson Andrews, Jason Bartz, Ryan Kellett, Katie Parker, Leslie Passante and Serdar Tumgoren - The Washington Post. Published Oct. 8, 2012.

Please email us us with questions or suggestions.