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Saturday, September 23, 2017
HomeAlaska NewsWhat just happened? Conservative mandate

What just happened? Conservative mandate

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Rep. Cathy Tilton, District 12 conservative, retained her seat with 66 percent of the votes cast.

Nov. 8, 2016 came and went, and was a big night for conservatives in America:

  • They overcame a media that was “all-in” for the Clintons. They won three more governorships, bringing the total to 33 Republican governors.
  • Republicans took the majority in the Iowa Senate and Kentucky House. New York Republicans took the Senate.
  • Republicans retained control of the Maine Senate, Minnesota House, North Carolina House, and Washington Senate.
  • Republicans increased their majorities in Indiana’s Senate, Michigan’s House, New Hampshire’s Senate, Ohio’s Senate and House, West Virginia’s Senate, and Wisconsin’s Senate.

In Alaska, voters gave a decisive victory for conservative leadership: Senator Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young retained their seats handily. Murkowski won with a 15 percent margin in a ticket that had conservative powerhouse Joe Miller running as a Libertarian. Miller drained off nearly 30 percent of the votes cast, but Murkowsi won with 44 percent in a race that had six candidates on the general election ballot. Margaret Stock, an independent, could not do better than 13.75 percent.

 

 

Rep. Don Young won with a 14 percent margin. His challenger Steve Lindbeck’s vote total closely tracked those being cast for Hillary Clinton during the long night when politicos waited patiently for the Division of Elections to release results. In other words, people who voted for Hillary also voted for Lindbeck.

Of the statewide candidate, Young has always received the most votes since 2002. With this election, he becomes the second-longest-serving member of the House, and the longest serving Republican in the House.

Young is close with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and can use his role as Dean of the House Republicans to help educate the president-elect about what is important in Alaska. Rep. Young will be serving under his ninth president.

With Murkowski winning and a Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, she increases her influence and will continue to negotiate energy policy as chair of the Energy Committee, but now has a better chance of helping Alaska with a Republican president. Presumably, the new president will not hold against her the fact that she withdrew her support for him with just weeks to go before the election.

Alaskans also voted for Donald Trump by a 15 percent margin.

At the state level, Republicans retained control of the Senate, in spite of massive spending by Democrats and union-fueled groups to unseat Sens. John Coghill and Cathy Giessel. With freshman senator-elect David Wilson, Republicans won all three open seats.

Republicans retained control of the state House, 21-19.  Although Democrats tried to plug themselves in as independents in a number of races and Republicans were outspent, but retained eight open Republican seats, losing none.

Two incumbent Republicans were defeated. One, Rep. Liz Vazquez, was defeated by Jason Grenn, a once-Republican who ran as a non-aligned candidate, with the backing of big-union dollars.

The other, Juneau Rep. Cathy Munoz, was defeated by radical Democrat Justin Parish, after the Juneau Empire manufactured a series of political hit pieces on Munoz, which took their toll on the moderate Republican. Parish is a Les Gara-style Democrat.

Overall, Gov. Bill Walker, who worked hard to get a Democratic majority in the House and to disrupt the Senate with union boss Vince Beltrami, picked up Representative-elect Dean Westlake of Kotzebue, Justin Parish of Juneau, and possibly Jason Grenn of Anchorage, although the jury is still out on whether Grenn will fall under Walker’s spell. Walker picked up not a single seats in the Senate.

Written by

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.

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