By a vote of 21-18, Rep. Bryce Edgmon has become Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Republicans who voted in favor of the Democrat-turned-undeclared Speaker were Anchorage Reps. Chuck Kopp and Jennifer Johnston.
Rep. Gary Knopp of Kenai had left town, dodging the vote. Democrats voted to allow him an excused absence.
Republicans Gabrielle LeDoux and Louise Stutes also voted for Edgmon, but these votes were expected, as the two are in lockstep with Democrats.
Kopp said on the floor that it was time for the House to organize, and he indicated that Speaker Edgmon was the only apparent way forward to break the impasse.
Rep. DeLena Johnson of Palmer nominated Rep. Dave Talerico, a Healy Republican, but with a motion on the floor to vote on Edgmon, she was not able to move an actual motion to vote on Talerico.
Tuck spoke on behalf of his motion to vote on Edgmon, saying Edgmon was a fair and quiet leader, and said that he had been a good Speaker during the past two years.
Rep. Jennifer Johnston said she was following the words of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, who said, “To hell with politics, just do what’s right for Alaska.”
Edgmon appointed a Committee on Committees to form up the leadership on committees, and that included himself as chair, Chuck Kopp, Steve Thompson, Neal Foster, Tammie Wilson, Jennifer Johnston, and Louise Stutes. The committee is made up of three Democrats — Edgmon, Foster, and registered Republican Louise Stutes, who caucuses with the Democrats, and four Republicans — Kopp, Thompson, Wilson, and Johnston.
They will come up with a Rules chair and the other committee leadership appointments. The House took a recess so that work can be completed.
[This story will be updated]