Daniel Smith: There is an old-fashioned carpetbagger running for office in District 16 — Jennie Armstrong

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By DANIEL SMITH

In West Anchorage House District 16, voters have filed a lawsuit against the State of Alaska Division of Elections and Gail Fenumiai for allowing an unqualified candidate to run for State office. The claim is that Jennifer (Jennie) Armstrong does not possess the constitutionally required residency time and therefore, is not qualified.  

The Division of Elections is allowing Armstrong to run for State office even though she claimed to be a resident of Louisiana on her first two fishing licenses among other residency issues the complaint alleges.    

Alaskans are typically very welcoming of people who move here to pursue their dreams of life on the last frontier. We are eager to help and share the state we love with those who appreciate all it has to offer. When a new resident arrives seeking elected office at the earliest possible opportunity allowed by law, that eagerness can wane a bit. The welcome mat is typically only cautiously extended in these instances.  

The use of the term carpetbagger is very appropriate and accurate in this instance. Post-Civil war northerners traveling south to meddle in the politics of the reconstructionist south have just been flipped the other way around minus the war stuff.  

In this case we have a recent arrival to our state by the name of Jennie Armstrong. She is violating the minimum residency qualifications for holding elected office as the complaint explains. Knowing the residency rules, Armstrong chooses to continue to run for office regardless, and the State is not stopping her. At this point, in the minds of many, the welcome mat has been fully retracted. Suffice it to say, this new arrival will definitely not be getting directions to the best fishing holes.

This is unfortunate because apparently Jennie Armstrong from Louisiana does like to fish.  

The complaint states; 

On June 15, 2019 Armstrong applied for and received a “Nonresident 1 Day Sport Fishing License.” On that application, Armstrong listed her residence as Metairie, Louisiana.

On June 23, 2019 Armstrong applied for and received a “Nonresident Annual Sport Fishing License.” On that application, Armstrong also listed her residence as Metairie, Louisiana.

On June 21, 2020, Armstrong applied for and received a “2020 Resident Sport Fishing License” where she indicated that she had been a resident for one year and zero months.  Translation: She asserted that her Alaska residency did not start until June 2019.

On July 20, 2021 Armstrong applied for and received a “2021 Resident Sport Fishing License” where she indicated that she was a resident for two years and one month.  Translation: She claimed her residency in Alaska did not begin until June 2019. 

As far as fish stories go this one is not a whopper.  t is not about a 90-pound king salmon that broke the line before it could be netted, leaving us with no photographic evidence. This fish story is about documents and information produced by Armstrong, herself. She is a person that wants to represent West Anchorage voters while not adhering to the constitution of the State of Alaska. This is about someone who wants to pass laws that we must follow but who allegedly is not required to adhere to the State Constitution.  

To be qualified as a candidate for and to hold office as a state senator, one must have been an Alaskan resident for the three years prior.  Is three years a sufficient amount of time to gain the experience and knowledge of Alaska and all of the relevant issues? That probably depends on a long list of variables, but it is in the State Constitution and the length of time by which the Division of Elections measures qualifications for holding office. 

This is a problem for Armstrong and now the State Division of Elections.  Armstrong filed her Declaration of Candidacy to run for office on June 1, 2022. She claims in the declaration that she has been an Alaskan resident since May 20, 2019. This is in direct conflict with those 2019 fishing licenses where she personally listed her residence as being in Louisiana. 

Maybe she registered to vote before she went fishing in 2019?  Nope. She did not register to vote in Alaska until August 26, 2019 according to documents filed. That doesn’t help her case.

The bottom line is that Jennie from Louisiana has no apparent documentation to prove she began her Alaskan residency in time to run for office. The nonresident fishing licenses with the Louisiana address are dated after the required time for a declaration of candidacy. The nonresident fishing licenses referenced in the lawsuit would lead a reasonable person to believe she still resided in Louisiana.

This is not complicated.  The Division of Elections did not do their homework and have let an ineligible candidate run for office.  If “complicated” is what you are looking for, try reading the State fishing regulations. 

Daniel Smith is a senior contributor to Must Read Alaska.     

21 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t support this candidate at all but there may be a simple explanation. You are not considered a resident for the purposes of hunting and fishing until you have resided in the state from one full year. She may have needed to have a nonresident license even though she had resided here a part of a year prior to June 2019. Does not explain the address she put on the license though.

  2. Well, we already had Nepotistic Lies A Lot so now we have a Carpetbagger.
    Oh, I almost forgot, we also have a coconspirator with the Chinese Communist Party.

  3. With our new economic order of farmer’s markets, arts and crafts fairs, Christmas bazaars, political patronage, indulgences, and the like, we would be hard pressed to say who’d best be able to write about it–Mark Twain or Charles Dickens. Whatever, with all the marketeers, “political craftsmen,” and other shysters working over the public, it’s buyer beware!

  4. Don’t meet 3 yr resident to run state no problem we don’t care (division of Elections)
    Don’t meet the 1yr resident requirement for pfd and but file a false pfd application saying otherwise you will get a visit from the state troopers.
    Let that sink in

  5. C’mon people. With th right makeover she could look like a Brazilian supermodel. Don’t she have a utility bill or sumptin?

    • Can we just drop the term “carpetbaggers”? It’s so antiquated. We need something new like “Gungursteins”.

  6. We also have the child of carpet baggers who their just back from her entire post college work history within the deepstate of Washington DC government jobs market is getting picked by most readers of this blog.

    Most readers of Must Read AK LOVE carpet baggers, c’mon.

      • Lets.
        Senator Sullivan moved here, married a Native Alaskan (from FBX) & had children BEFORE he ran for Senate to represent AK.
        There, that was a nice talk.

  7. This article missed some of the more significant evidence that Jennie does not meet the residency requirements. Namely, by her own admission, she claimed to be visiting Alaska in May 2019 as part of a long multi-state vacation. Alaska was just one stop. Then, she posted on social media after her trip was over that she would be moving to Alaska during the first week of June. When she was called out on this, she went back and edited her social media posts. Jennie has never provided a shred of evidence that she took action to remove her Louisiana residency (“acts of removal” are required to establish Alaska residency, according to the law) OR become a legal Alaska resident (changing vehicle tags, registering to vote, etc.) until June. All of this was spelled out in the Alaska Landmine blogpost that broke the story. Long story short, Jennie is not and was never eligible to run in this race. She violated the State Constitution that she wants to uphold as a legislator. If she wants to run she should wait till the next election, when she will be eligible.

  8. Did you notice that Bill Walker features carpetbagger Jennie Armstrong in his television campaign ad. It seems strange and irresponsible that he would decide against finding and including a supporter with real, longterm Alaska roots rather than somebody who moved here recently and listed her Louisiana address on her non-resident Alaska fishing licenses. It is also wrong for Walker to choose carpetbagger Armstrong for this ad after we learned that is appears she has engaged in fraud: she has not lived in Alaska long enough to qualify to run for the state legislature. Walker has shown very poor judgement in this matter (and others, too).

    This is an unforced error for the campaign. From my perspective and for lots of reasons, Bill Walker is not my choice for governor. He needs to return to retirement.

    • Don’t forget who is representing her – none other than the REAL SCOTT KENDALL. Since she was so eager to run instead of waiting awhile to see how things were run in Alaska, then I have to wonder why the hurry? Is she one of the people the Walker campaign wants to populate the legislature in Juneau? And one of the partners in the law firm that Scott Kendall works for is none other than former AG under Bill Walker, Jaha Lindimuth. Strange bedfellows for a newly arrived. What does her husband do? Lots of questions.

  9. Open and Shut; Jennings declares residency in May, 2019. She applies for a non-resdent license in June, 2019 because State law says you have to be a resident for the previous 12 months to get a resident license. Kelly Tshibaka had a similar situation. Case closed.

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