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Tuesday, October 23, 2018
HomeAlaska Daily PlanetApril Hackney, political creative force, dies

April Hackney, political creative force, dies

April Hackney, half of the political team Hackney & Hackney, died early this morning at Providence Hospital after a brief illness. News of her death moved quickly through political circles after a note was posted on Facebook by her husband, Art Hackney.

The Hackneys served as Alaska state chairs during former Republican President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. In 2015, the Hackneys were selected to lead the Alaska campaign for Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential bid. Their clients have included Congressman Don Young and many other political figures and aspiring candidates. The Hackneys also founded Alaskafirst.org and Alaska’s Future, which worked to oppose higher taxes on the oil and gas industry.

April was born in Sitka on Feb. 23, 1964, and was of Tlingit/Russian heritage. She moved to Anchorage in 1985 and joined Holden Hackney & Breeze, a political and advertising agency as administrative assistant and then production manager. In 1990, she and Art married and they formed the political consultancy Hackney & Hackney, which they built into one of Alaska’s most well-known corporate and political media companies.

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She served as treasurer for the Alaska Federation of Republican Women, the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club and District 13 Republicans, and was selected as a Whip for the 2000 National Republican Convention in Philadelphia.
April was voted one of the “Top Forty Under 40” rising influential people for Alaska for 1999/2000. She loved to travel and made numerous trips to the African continent, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, and across Europe. She was also a talented artist, and a fashionable dresser who loved fun hats, new shoes, sun dresses and sparkles. Her smile lit up a room.
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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • So sad to hear of the untimely passing of this force of nature. My heart goes out to the community of Anchorage and her dear husband Art.

  • Rest In Peace, April!!!! +

  • We were heart broken to lean of April’s passing. Thank for this wonderful tribute to April. She was a talented political professional, a friend and a special lady. Those of us who were blessed to have known and worked with her are richer for it. Our prayers are with Art.

  • Dear Art,
    So very sad to learn of April’s passing. She was a dynamo and a force to be reconed with, she will leave such a deep void in the Anchorage and Alaska political community.
    All my thoughts and prayers.
    Vince Mee

  • Sad to get the news about April. She was an incredible lady.

    Chuck Achberger

  • I am sad to learn of April’s passing. Art and April definitely were a dynamo team. April’s energy will be missed.

  • April was a true professional …. I loved working with her… will miss greatly.

  • Can’t stop crying, April. It’s been 2 weeks tomorrow and your dad will be home soon. Our hearts, so shattered, the tears fall like a waterfall. See you soon dear friend ♥ We love you, Art. Hang on.