Democrat politician suggests trick to Democrats to help Rep. Knopp win Kenai race - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 11, 2020
HomePoliticsDemocrat politician suggests trick to Democrats to help Rep. Knopp win Kenai race

Democrat politician suggests trick to Democrats to help Rep. Knopp win Kenai race

Hal Smalley, a retired teacher and current Kenai Borough Assembly member, is using social media to try to get Republican Rep. Gary Knopp reelected to the Alaska House of Representatives.

That would normally be thought an odd move, since Smalley is a Democrat.

Knopp has been censured by the Alaska Republican Party and his district GOP activists have asked him to not run as a Republican again, after he helped engineer a coup in the House that gave Democrats control.

[Read: Knopp responds: ‘I am a Republican, will run as one]

Democrat activists have come out in force for Knopp, but Smalley is the first to openly request that Democrats change their voter registration to nonpartisan or undeclared, so that they may vote in the Republican primary and help Knopp beat challengers Ron Gillham and Kelly Wolfe.

On Facebook, Smalley wrote last week:

“I would encourage voters that are not able to vote in the Republican Primary to re-register as an independent or non-declared and vote in the Republican Primary supporting Gary Knopp for State House, then re-reister for the general in your party and vote again for Gary.”

Smalley, who was elected to serve as a House member in 1998, served just one term before being defeated by Republican Mike Chenault. He has run since, losing to both Republicans Kelly Wolfe and Kurt Olson. He has served on the Assembly Borough and on the Kenai City Council. His current term on the Borough Assembly ends in October.

The Democrats on the Kenai did not put forward a candidate for House District 30 this year, because Knopp has really met all of their needs. Last week they had a sign-waving event for Knopp, which oddly collided with a “Fire Knopp” event put on by the Republicans nearby.

The Republicans have endorsed Knopp’s primary challenger Gillham, who in 2018 ran against Sen. Peter Micciche and came closer than anyone would have predicted. Republicans in the party say they think Gillham has the temperament and will represent them better than Wolfe, who served just one term in the House.

Unlike Democrats, Republicans keep a semi-closed primary. Those who are registered with another party — be it Democrat, Libertarian or Alaska Independence — cannot vote in the Republican Primary.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Might be fun to watch Republicans return the favor…
    It’s the success of the Great Alaska LeDoux Vote Experiment, how it might be exploited for Mr. Knopp, that should worry Republicans.

    • It should be illegal to pull such a stunt!

      • Why do you suppose it isn’t?

  • How can Knopp serve when he will be stranded out in Kalgin Island, sleeping under a pile of brush?

    • I can’t tell if Knopp looks more like a gas station attendant or a guy on the used car lot.

      • I was thinking used car sales man or shady smuggler working down at the docks.

    • Does Gary pump gas at the Chevron in Soldotna during the summer?

      • Yep, and he releases it too. All over Juneau and the Peninsula. The Flatulator!

        • Knopp looks like some TV character out of a 60’s sitcom. Petticoat Junction, Gilligan’s Island, or Green Acres? I just can’t remember which one.

          • Andy Griffith Show. Goober Pyle. Gomer’s cousin. Or was it Floyd the barber’s illigitimate son?

        • More of a carnival barker, or circus clown.

  • Proof that Knopp is a Democrat and Smalley is the same he’s always been.

    • Knopp must go he stands in the way of real progress.

  • The Left has but one ideal that frames their entire faith: win.

    Winning means power, and power for power’s sake is the foundational tenet of their religion.

  • He is, as his friends in China might say:
    A “Republican” with Democrat characteristics.

  • For the record, the “A-D-L” ballot is a thing of the past. There is a Libertarian running against Cathy Giessel as an independent-by-petition. I was specifically told this was due to the Libertarians no longer having recognized party status. A check of the Division of Elections website confirms this.
    The AIP is a whole other matter. They’ve enjoyed recognized party status through voter registration figures, which has kept them from going the way of the Republican Moderate Party despite a similarly autocratic leadership structure. Their problem lies with a lack of activity and a lack of depth. Don Wright was once quoted as saying he would keep running for governor until the day he died, which in the end turned out not to be the case. They continued to nominate him even after he was too ill to actively campaign. That last campaign was the same year they held their last party convention, which was a decade ago. They’ve long discouraged rather than encouraged candidates under their party banner. I saw a recent communication from Bob Bird discussing what was handed off to him after Lynette’s death. He’s going to have his work cut out for him, that’s all I can say.

  • Hopefully Knopp gets “primary-ed” out. If he doesn’t, the Republicans on the Kenai need to conduct a write in campaign that rivals the one in 2010 that Lisa ran against the Republicans nomination for US Senate.

  • You just cannot trust Gary Knopp.

    Ron Gillham has the support of District 30 Republicans and the Alaska Republican Party.

  • I have a list of the “Representatives” that lied to my face. Knopp is on it. So are Giessel and Johnston.

    I’d vote for the dog catcher before I vote for one of these again. Or anyone like them.

    At least the dog catcher is honest.

    • The only running the dog catcher does is when he comes to my house and tries to harness Monte, my 135 lb Rottweiler. I hope Knopp shows up at my door on the Peninsula to drop off his campaign propoganda.

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