Breaking: Rep. Cathy Tilton of Wasilla is House Speaker


Wasilla Republican Rep. Cathy Tilton has been elected Speaker of the House. It appears to be the 19 Republicans and most of the rural Bush caucus will be in the Republican-led caucus, but it’s unclear who is going to be included the caucus.

The vote was 26-14 on Wednesday morning, with all Republicans and some no-party members voting for Tilton.

Anchorage Rep. Cal Schrage, a no-party member, and Rep. Rebecca Himshoot, a no-party member but liberal from Sitka, voted against her, while Rep. Daniel Ortiz of Ketchikan voted for Tilton, along with Josiah Patkotak of Utqiagvik. Both Ortiz and Patkotak are not aligned with a party.

Also voting for Tilton was former Speaker Louise Stutes, a Republican and Rep. Bryce Edgmon, who is considered a Democrat, although has no party.

Four others were nominated: Former Speaker Stutes, Nikiski’s Ben Carpenter, Soldotna’s Justin Ruffridge, and Dillingham’s Edgmon. Edgmon and Carpenter declined their nominations. Ruffridge, a Republican of Soldotna who made a play for the job of Speaker Pro Tem, was nominated by hard-left Zack Fields of Anchorage, who appeared to want to drive home the knife and cause chaos in the Republican caucus by aligning Ruffridge with the Democrats.

Northway-Tok’s Mike Cronk made the motion for Tilton, and she was the only nominee voted on.

“I am honored to be selected as the Speaker of the House,” Tilton said. “I am excited to start working with all the members of the House to ensure the people of Alaska are represented. I am humbled by the faith my colleagues have in me and will embrace this leadership role with humility and greatly appreciate the opportunity to lead the House of Representatives.”

The Alaska House Republican Caucus pledges to lead this body with efficiency and civility so that the people of Alaska are once again confident in the leadership, she said.

The House gaveled out so that Tilton and others can now figure out who is in and out of the majority caucus. Then, the Committee on Committees can start making assignments.

Tilton has represented Wasilla and until recently a portion of Chugiak-Peters Creek in the Anchorage Borough since 2015. She was a legislative aide before she ran for office.

The vote board:


  1. A singularly wonderful outcome! I was just speaking with the neighborhood snowplow driver. He said the only way to equal this news is if it snows a lot, and then the newly divorced woman down the road invites him in for coffee after he plows her driveway. He said his plow is all ready for that, should it come to be.

    • He lost me too. I think he is originally from the river valley where MN and ND meet. He said something about plowing short furrows. Probably an agricultural saying.

  2. Whew! Thank God. I was concerned the house would end up like the senate and was praying it would not. Good choice and seems a good start!


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