Vic Kohring, the former state representative sentenced in 2011 to time served after reaching a plea agreement in his federal corruption case, hopes to hold elected office again in the Wasilla City Council.
Kohring’s previous tenure as a Wasilla Republican in the Legislature from 1995 through 2007 was cut short by a bribery case, in which prosecutors said he was caught on tape offering to do oilfield services company VECO’s bidding. He was initially found guilty, before that verdict was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a Friday statement, Kohring says he’s filed to run for a council seat in hopes of putting that chapter of his life behind him.
“I'm thrilled to have support from people in the community, many of whom urged me to seek public office again,” Kohring said. “I believe the timing is right to re-enter public service.”
Kohring’s announcement cites his brush with the law as a benefit rather than a drawback, saying it’s toughened him for future challenges.
“I have lots of energy, fight and enthusiasm left and am not dispirited by my awful legal saga,” Kohring said. “The experience has actually made me a stronger person, more seasoned in life and has brought me closer to God and family. I'm better prepared now for public office than I've ever been.”
While Kohring expresses regret for what he describes as “gifts from friends,” he maintains that he acted independently, saying he voted repeatedly against the state bill lowering oil taxes that VECO and others hoped he would back. He says he took a guilty plea primarily because he was taking care of his elderly parents at the time.
“I screwed up with my carelessness and am the first to admit it,” Kohring said. “So I again apologize to my former constituents and ask that they give me a second opportunity to serve them as I work hard to earn their trust.”
Kohring mentions his devotion to tenets including hard work and conservative principles, saying his legislative priorities would involve building on the city’s recent successes.
“I wish to contribute to a fiscally sound city hall, keeping taxes low and business regulations and controls to a minimum so as to encourage small business growth and a strong private sector,” Kohring said. “I will also focus on providing basic services including further developing our infrastructure such as roads and utilities to meet the demands of a growing Wasilla. And of course I will be responsive to constituent needs as I was in the legislature.”
Kohring will run against incumbent Brandon Wall for Wasilla City Council Seat F in the October 1 election.
Contact Chris Klint