Republicans from District 14, Eagle River, requested the Alaska Republican Party withdraw its support for House Rep. Kelly Merrick, due to her joining a Democrat majority in the House.
The party did this in prior years with former Rep. Jim Colver, former Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, and former Rep. Paul Seaton, who broke from the Republicans to join the Democrat-led caucus. The party also withdrew support from now-House Speaker Louise Stutes, who is a Republican but doesn’t caucus with Republicans.
Merrick ran in 2018 and again as the incumbent in 2020. She has heavy labor union support, and is married to the top labor boss in the state, Joey Merrick, who runs independent expenditure groups that work against Republican candidates.
The fragile 21-member Republican majority was broken when Kelly Merrick negotiated a role as the co-chair of House Finance Committee, in exchange for leaving the Republican majority caucus. She wasn’t the only one: Rep. Sara Rasmussen left the Republican caucus but did not join another caucus, and she was not censured by the party.
The vote was 52-10 in favor of what is effectively a condemnation of Merrick’s actions. The party will provide no financial support for Merrick, should she choose to run for reelection.