(1-minute read) DEJA VU: KENAI REPUBLICAN SAYS NO TO REPUBLICAN SPEAKER
Rep. David Eastman, a District 11 Republican, surprised House colleagues today by forcing a vote on the House floor for speaker. He nominated Rep. Dave Talerico of District 6, forcing members to get on the record again.
The vote was an even split, with Reps. Gary Knopp of Kenai, Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage, and Louise Stutes of Kodiak voting with the Democrats to make the 20-20 split. Daniel Ortiz of Ketchikan is a reliable Democrat vote as well and has been part of the Democrat-led caucus since he was elected as a nonpartisan.
Knopp said he couldn’t support Talerico because Knopp had been planning to present an organizational plan to Republicans today, a plan that fell through earlier when he said his colleagues said they were not ready to hear it. Must Read Alaska spoke to colleagues who said that Knopp misunderstood.
This is the second time Knopp has voted against Talerico as Speaker. On Jan. 22, he also voted against him.
Reps. Sharon Jackson, Tammy Wilson, and Steve Thompson spoke in favor of Talerico as Speaker and said the vote should take place because the people’s business needs to be attended to.
Rep. Geran Tarr, like Knopp, objected to Talerico as speaker, saying that backroom dealings were underway and that Eastman’s motion was a stunt that destroyed the “good faith” negotiations that were ongoing and the trust that the Democrats were building with Republicans.
Although Democrat Chris Tuck nominated Democrat Bryce Edgmon as speaker, he quickly rose to decline his nomination “at this time” and Democrats made no further nominations, but also were unwilling to vote in favor of the one nominee on the floor.
The House is adjourned until Wednesday.