District 10 drama: Sumner corrects record on Rep. Eastman’s high per diem



A day after a group of Republicans attacked upstart candidate Jesse Sumner with a recall petition to try to remove him from the Mat-Su Borough Assembly, Sumner has apologized for misstatements about Rep. David Eastman’s per diem. Sumner is challenging Eastman in the District 10 Republican primary.

Sumner had said that Eastman took per diem while the Legislature was meeting in Wasilla in 2019. That was not possible, since legislators cannot take per diem when the Legislature is meeting within 50 miles of their home. A handful of Eastman supporters decided to go after his Assembly seat for those misstatements. They started an application for a recall.

“I apologize. I made a mistake and I take complete ownership. When I said that my opponent had the most per diem during the 2019 special session in Wasilla, I was inaccurate,” Sumner said.

“I apologize to my opponent, his supporters and the voters of District 10. I assure everyone, I did so unintentionally,” Sumner said.

Sumner provided the actual chart of per diem for 2019, which shows that Eastman took $48,622 in per diem, $22,704.92 in relocation reimbursement, along with the $50,400 in wages he earns as a legislator.

His per diem is slightly more than Speaker Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham, at $47,716, and slightly less than Rep. Neal Foster of Nome, who took $51,642.

Sen. Donny Olson billed the state for over $50,434 in per diem, putting Eastman in third place for the most per diem taken last year.

However, for the weeks that the session was called to Wasilla, he was not permitted to take per diem.

The entire list of per diem for 2019 is here.

For per diem in 2017, Eastman’s per diem and relocation appears to be 171 percent higher than then-Sen. Mike Dunleavy’s per diem that year. Dunleavy lives in Wasilla and is now governor.


  1. So, it would seem Sumner isn’t too far from the mark about Eastman raking in Per-diem cash. By the way, does Eastman have a day job?

  2. It does seem that Sumner is using the tactics of the Left–throw bad mud, then apologize after much of it sticks and the damage is done. Not good.

  3. It would seem Eastman does not understand what being a Conservative is if he ranks #3 for Per Diem take right behind two Democrats

  4. Unethical and illegal is what it is.
    Goes to demonstrate the continued bad behavior and misconduct of the assemblyman.

    Apology only comes after the recall petition does not undo the slanderous lies that were mailed out to voters.

    Deep state swamp monsters and the good ole boy (and girl) club.

  5. So Jesse Sumner is already apologizing for misstatements, before he is even in office. Makes one wonder, what misstatements will he be apologizing for (or NOT apologizing for) if he ever gets in office? All of his campaign promises, maybe? I live in District 10. He’s not getting my vote.

  6. What’s the mud here Mr Boyle? That Mr Sumner was off on the time frame of when Rep Eastman collected the $71,324 in remuneration over his $50,400 wage rate in 2019? Receiving $22,704 in relocation reimbursement makes me wonder if he even keeps a home in his district during the session? That’s enough money to move a family to the lower 48.

    Facts are, Rep Eastman (R) is an expensive representative for those in House District 10 and Alaska. The question the public gets to decide on shortly is, is he worth it?

    • Rex Shattuck, if that is all that Mr Sumner has to run on, then that’s too bad. All AK Legislators get very well paid–at least $85,000 per “year”. What’s the ROI?

      • OK Dave, let me help you with the math. Eastman collected $71,324 in other remunerations for relocation allowance & per diem. He also received his annual wage of $50,400 (not mention possibly $8,000 in an office account) totaling $121,724. If I subtract your $85,000 from Eastman’s combined total of $121,724, he is over the that number by $36,724. For someone who claims to be a conservative he’s well over reasonable. I am sorry to say that after years of following your work, I’m inclined to look more critical at your opinions in the future.
        As to the idea of Mr. Sumner not having things to run on, what he did was call out Rep. Eastman on his high maintenance cost. Especially pertinent at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet. That my friend is not mudslinging. I don’t know Mr. Sumner, so I have no reason to defend him. But its obvious, many people are waking up to Eastman’s inability to work with other; that’s your poor ROI. For an individual who claims strong military connections, he missed the idea of working as a team.
        As to Ryan’s comment I agree on a focus to remove the others. But having worked in Juneau around these 4 despicable, self-serving, Turncoats, my comments would probably not survive MRAK’s editing

  7. I really wish the GOP would spend more time attacking Louise Stutes, Jennifer Johnston, Cathy Giessel, Natasha Von Imhof, and Gabriel LaDoux rather than spend money against David Eastman. It’s such a shame they attack a conservative when they never spent any money or time in the primary against the true rinos in 2018! I mean how the heck did Gabriel ladoux get by so easy?

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