All nine elected Democrats and eight of the 11 elected Republicans have joined what the incoming Senate President Gary Stevens calls ‘a very healthy majority.’
Republicans hold 21 of the 40 seats in the Alaska House of Representatives after the first full run of Alaska’s new ranked choice voting system.
Ranked choice voting has changed how candidates campaign, and how Alaskans vote. It’s also changed the pace of the election cycle.
Senators are already talking about how a coalition majority might be organized.
Sen. Jesse Kiehl and Rep. Andi Story ran unopposed for reelection, while Rep. Sara Hannan won 78% of the vote in her race against one opponent.
In both chambers, political observers are wondering if enough like-minded Republicans will get elected to form a majority, or if there will be coalition majorities of moderate Republicans, Democrats and independents.
Nearly all of the seats in the Alaska Legislature are up for reelection this year, so the makeup of the state House and Senate could look a lot different next session.
Because of a federal court decision last year, the state’s failure to appeal that decision, and the Alaska Legislature’s failure to approve a new law, candidates for Alaska state Legislature and governor can accept unlimited amounts of money from individual donors.
Setting multi-year budgets in Alaska requires cash on hand, justices said.
Members of the committee hired a special investigator in January to determine whether political factors played a role in the December firing of Rodell by the corporation’s board of trustees.