Friday, June 2, 2023
HomePoliticsThe finalists for District 40: Two from Kotzebue, one from Barrow

The finalists for District 40: Two from Kotzebue, one from Barrow

Must Read Alaska has learned that Alaska Democrats have forwarded three names to Gov. Bill Walker for the District 40 House seat vacated by Rep. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue and Kiana.

They are Leanna Mack (maiden name Russell) of Barrow, Sandy Shroyer-Beaver and Eugene Smith of Kotzebue, shown from left to right in the photo.

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The governor is likely to select his choice by Friday so that the chosen candidate can get to Juneau for confirmation when the House gavels in on Monday for its 90-day session. The House Democrats must approve of the governor’s choice before the individual can be sworn in.

Because the governor has been given two women’s names, it seems unlikely that he’ll choose Smith. It was Westlake who was asked to resign by his own Democrat-led caucus for harassing women, which makes it difficult for Walker to choose Smith over the two women’s names he was given.

[Read: The election of a predator]

The seat will come up for election next year. Westlake served less than a full year of his two-year term, after beating Ben Nageak of Barrow by eight votes in an election that many observers say was fraudulently run.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. Sandy-Shroyerbeaver has been a life long extensive public servant in city government, state and borough government and tribal government. She has good federal and congressional contacts and state and legislative contacts connections and understands both levels of governance. She is the best woman to serve the people and to get the job done!

  2. That’s crazy that you feel this way on gender just because of the reason for the replacement. One bad apple shouldn’t be the reason to discriminate on gender… my two cents!

  3. So brave, Leanna, how old is she? 21? I wouldn’t discriminate against men for one man’s actions. I guess it had to be said. I don’t know if Eugene thought about that! With all the critical issues our State is facing today, we need a strong voice who will not only look out for the best interest of the people in District 40, but also for the entire population of the great State of Alaska. Especially for the coastal villages that gets hammered by fall storms surges and experience life changing environmental damages that comes from the fall storms. We don’t have any control over nature, but if we can help even one village, such as Kivalina, Shishmaref, Newtok, and Shaktoolik, you’ve done your job well!! More power to you! Remember, look out for the best interest of the people, don’t focus too much on politics.

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