Elijah Verhagen files for House District 6



Elijah Verhagen, a legislative aide from Nenana, has file a letter of intent to run for House District 6. The seat is currently served by Rep. Dave Talerico of Healy.

District 6 is considered a safe seat for Republicans, and Verhagen was a Republican up until today, when he changed to Undeclared. He is a conservative.

Verhagen earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has worked as a legislative staff member for seven sessions and has staffed Rep. Talerico, whom he considers a lifelong friend, mentor, employer, “and a fantastic representative.” This is Talerico’s third term. Verhagen was an aide to Rep. Sharon Jackson, but has gone on layoff status so he can run for office. His brother is the current mayor of Nenana.

“Others and I have tried to get him [Talerico] to run again this next session, but to no avail,” Verhagen said. “I’ve carried several of his bills through the process while working for him. If elected, I will continue to carry some of his great bills that ran out of time to pass this session due to COVID-19.”

Although he will run as an undeclared candidate, he said he will caucus with the Republicans. Today, Republicans have a bipartisan caucus in the House, and a more conservative smaller wing of Republicans make up the House minority.


  1. I’ve always liked Dave Talerico; he’s personable, polite and just an all around nice guy. I didn’t realize he wasn’t running again. Did I miss an official announcement?

  2. I would prefer that candidates would just wear the hat of their party, instead of a Rhino, or Independent when they caucus with socialists. Its not fooling anybody. For instance, an Independent sits on the fence, but has their feet dangling on the left side. Some see them on the fence and think they are nondenominational.

    • I have known Elijah Verhagen for many many years. He is NOT trying to fool anybody. He is just getting sick of some of the sickening party politics and being pushed or pretty much forced by the Republicans to vote against his conscience. He is a very conservative man and comes from a very conservative family, but he along with most of his 8 siblings have opted to no longer be Republicans. He still has many Republican values as do I, as one of his older sisters. I became undeclared and independent way back in 2008, my younger siblings took longer, but all of us have realized for quite some time now that neither Republicans or Democrats have all of the answers and we shouldn’t be forced by our societies to pick sides. We can be friends with everyone and be guided by our real beliefs, not the “Lesser of two evils” etc. I know that Elijah Verhagen is honest, hard working, dedicated, and willing to help and listen to people. I can understand people’s concerns in thinking this way, but give him a chance, meet him yourself, ask questions, find out what his goals are and what he believes and don’t join in the typical societal pressures to group everyone into a party or stereotype. Thanks for reading.

    • I have known him personally for the last twelve years, and he is absolutely is not a RINO.
      Elijah is actually sick and tired of all the stupid RINO games that he has seen firsthand. He stands for the stated platform of the GOP much more than many that you might think are legitimate members of the party.
      He has much higher personal standards than most people I know. And he has always chosen to do the right thing even when he thought nobody was looking. Please try to base your opinions on facts, not supposition.

  3. It always sounds fishy when someone claims to be Republican, but runs as Undeclared…. He “plans to caucus with the Republicans” – who have been caucusing with the Democrats? Sounds like a RINO to me. But, I’m not in his district, so I have no say in the matter.

  4. Mr. Verhagen will receive no endorsement from the Alaska Republican Party. In a primary or general election.

    As of today, there is a very competent and credible Republican whom filed for this Seat as a Republican. Michael Cronk, from Tok, Alaska. You will find out more about his deep stature as an Alaskan, a Conservative and a Republican.

    We Salute Dave Talarico, Representative, District 6, whom has decided not to run again. Dave was so incredible in this seat and I already miss him.

    The Alaska Republican Party looks forward to other Republican Primary Candidates filing for this seat and we will fully support and endorse that person from the Republican Party whom wins the Primary Election in August. PERIOD!

    David Pruhs, Representative
    Region 1
    Alaska Republican Party

    • The Alaska Republican Party has a big bad branding problem right now, David, and you’re not helping.
      Current events suggest that receiving no endorsement from the Alaska Republican Party might be the best thing that ever happened to Mr. Verhagen.

  5. Sorry, David Pruhs. In this day and age, many Republicans are worse than the Democrats. RINOs and Trojan Horses. The enemy comes cleverly disguised. I will be sending $$$ and other supporters to Mr. Verhagen. Wish him well!

  6. “… a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has worked as a legislative staff member for seven sessions”
    Magnificent job history, what more could productive Alaskans want in a representative?
    Another one with no marketable skills outside Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team, so job security means keeping team owners happy, yes?
    Can’t quite identify as Republican, but wants to dance with Republican wallflowers… guess that’s how they teach poly sci at UAF.
    Oh well, no expectations, no disappointments, right?

    • He helps run a small family construction business that has a good reputation in the region, and is involved in local community issues. There is certainly more to this guy than stated in this brief article.

    • He’s an excellent carpenter and a very very hard worker. He also doesn’t hesitate to help people in need. I’ve seen him at work on the job and you couldn’t ask for a better employee or co-worker. He and his family have a very long history of self-sacrifice that they don’t even mention to anyone. The only reason he decided to get a degree in Political Science is because he felt that he could make a difference. I guarantee you don’t even know him. Why don’t you talk to him? Find out what kind of a person he really is before trying to slander him.

      • Everybody was excellent at something before joining Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team, nobody mediocre would be allowed into The Peoples Club, would they?
        Somebody needs a degree in political science from Alaska’s government-run university to “make a difference” in Alaska’s government-run politics, what’s wrong with this picture?
        A degree from Carpenters R Us makes you a journeyman carpenter?
        Can’t help but wonder how much excellent carpentering got done during those seven legislative-staff sessions…
        Stuff of legend there, how one can “self-sacrifice” then return, presumably on the third day, to sit at the right hand of Alaska’s Ruling Class…
        Maybe UAF offers a degree which answers such things, since commoners apparently aren’t allowed to inquire, and Elijah seemingly can’t answer for himself.
        What kind of friend are you anyway, pushing your bro in the snake pit? Jesus was a Carpenter and look what The Establishment did to Him!

  7. I have known Mr. Verhagen for many years. He is a good man. I fully expect him to stand for conservative values, and operate with professionalism and dignity.

    As a second job I teach a civic engagement class at the University of Alaska. Many students are quite open with political opinions in their papers. Several mention they feel like they don’t have a place in any political party, not so much due to party platforms, but due to poor behavior of some who are in the spotlight. These students also develop a sense of institutional mistrust due to loud and rude voices in the media that are clearly biased (left and right wing). It would not surprise me to see more young conservatives vote and run for office as undeclared in coming years. My suggestion is that we stop labeling and berating. Instead we need to raise the bar for expectations of behavior for our republican candidates so this growing group of undeclared voters and candidates feel like they have a home with us.

    • The party isn’t changing. The young folks are morphing into something undistinguishable. The greatest generation didn’t need to “feel” wanted. We knew we were Americans first, partisan second or third after family. Todays youth…….I don’t know.

      • At least Elijah definitely stands for the Constitution. Many of this new generation seem to be socialists…

          • The Demo is some woman from Nenana. Pretty Far Lefty. Getting a Master’s in Environmental studies from UAF. Need we say more?

  8. I am for Mike Cronk, only on the fact that I know him personally and hadn’t heard of Elijah Verhagen until today. Mike’s personality is upbeat, outgoing, and never a hint of trying to accommodate or please someone just to be nice. He’ll tell you the truth in a heartbeat and doesn’t care how brutally honest he is. I know Mike is as upset as the rest of the true conservative Republicans are with the RINOs that are in the State Legislature right now. Remember them come November. The rallying cry I’ve heard all last year and now this year, is “Vote them out!” Let’s get it done.

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