BETHEL DEMOCRAT’S AIDE TO HELP PICK HIS OWN NEW BOSS
Democrats in Bethel caucused on Tuesday and chose an aide to former Rep. Zach Fansler as their District 38 chair. The district had been unorganized for Democrats, meaning there were no party officers for the sprawling region in Western Alaska.
Ben Anderson-Agimuk, 25, has the task of organizing the committee that will review resumes from those interested in replacing his former boss, Fansler, who stepped down last month after being accused of striking a woman in Juneau. Fansler is technically on payroll through mid-February but was kicked out of the Democratic caucus.
Anderson-Agimuk is a fresh-faced political science student whose legislative job is legislative secretary, and he may also be picking his next boss. His LinkedIn profile shows that, in spite of youth, he has strong political chops.
For KYUK radio, he described the ideal candidate as someone who will vote with the Democrat’s majority coalition in the State House and be willing to run for reelection this year.
That might eliminate Bob Herron, who was the man replaced by Fansler when Anchorage Democrats poured tens of thousands of dollars into Fansler’s campaign in 2016.
Fansler lasted a year, but then was accused by a Juneau woman of hitting her so hard her eardrum burst. That accusation is still under investigation and may not lead to charges, but Fansler was forced out by his fellow Democrats.
As for Herron, who is more of a family man, he has since left the Democratic Party, perhaps in anger for the party having run someone against him in a primary, and he has registered as “unaffiliated.”
The replacement for Fansler involves the District Democrats choosing three prospective nominees and presenting them to the governor. Gov. Bill Walker, who helped Fansler get elected, will need to choose a replacement by March 14.
Anderson-Agimuk first needs to assemble his committee to review applicants. Those interested in serving either on the committee or as a state representative for District 38 may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.