Breaking: Rep. Mike Cronk to file for Senate Seat R

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Rep. Mike Cronk, center.

With Fairbanks Sen. Click Bishop announcing his retirement from the Senate, Rep. Mike Cronk of Tok and Northway said he will file for Senate Seat R.

Cronk first ran for the House in 2020 to represent what was then called House District 6. After redistricting in 2020, it became District 36, which stretches around parts of Fairbanks North Star Borough and south to Northway, deep in the Interior of Alaska. Cronk ran again in 2022, and won against a Democrat by a landslide.

Although he had filed for reelection to the House, when Bishop announced he is dropping, Cronk decided he should step up and run for what is the largest district geographically in Alaska.

Cronk is well known throughout the Interior, both as a legislator and longtime basketball coach.

He grew up in Northway and graduated from Walter Northway High School in 1987. Cronk, in the Alaska High School Hall of Fame, was a basketball standout. In his first three seasons he averaged 32 points a game and 20 rebounds. During his senior year, he averaged 37 points per game and 23 rebounds. Cronk is considered by many to be the most prolific scorer in the history of Alaska prep basketball.

“He proved his ability to score against the best by averaging 36 points against formidable opponents like East Anchorage, Lathrop, North Pole and Palmer High Schools. He still holds the state record in points scored in a single game, 62. Although hailing from a small Alaskan high school, he was named Alaska Player of the Year in 1986-87,” says the Alaska High School Hall of Fame website.

Cronk went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 1992 and taught at Walter Northway High School, where he coached basketball. He is an accomplished hunter and outdoorsman.

If his name seems familiar to readers outside the sprawling district, it’s because the year 2017 turned out to be a fateful year for Cronk. He and friends attended the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas when his friend Rob McIntosh was shot in the chest during the mass shooting that killed 59 people. Cronk held his fingers on the bullet holes, dragged his friend to safety, put him in the back of a pickup truck with other wounded people, and eventually flagged down an ambulance. In the chaos that followed, another wounded concert-goer died in his arms on the way to the hospital. 

Read Mike Cronk’s essay about that day at USA Today.

Reached by Must Read Alaska in Seward, Cronk said he was getting his paperwork together to file for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bishop. The deadline for filing is June 1.

12 COMMENTS

  1. After Click’s announcement, I was fully expecting an announcement for Lite Guv! That’s a good move for Iron Mike, though! Great plan.🥳😎🫡

    • Do you think Dunleavy is firing Dahlstrom? Can he even do that without cause?

      Or do you think she will defeat both Peltola and Begich in her campaign for US House?

      Or do you think Bishop will run for LT Gov in 2026 when the next AK Gubernatorial election is?

  2. What Alaska needs is to get rid of all the democrats posing as Republicans, like Steven’s and others in the senate.

  3. That is fantastic news! Mike is a stand-up guy; a super legislator and a strong supporter of Alaska’s responsible resource development industries.

  4. This badly gerrymandered district requires someone who lives in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. So Cronk is not a good fit.

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