Saturday, September 30, 2023
HomePoliticsHas governor found a 'Lincoln' for his District 40 man?

Has governor found a ‘Lincoln’ for his District 40 man?


It appears, although nothing is certain in District 40, that Gov. Bill Walker is going “off list” in the search for a replacement for Rep. Dean Westlake.

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Problems with the candidates offered by Alaska Democrats arose early in the process. They nominated Sandy Shroyer-Beaver and Eugene Smith from Kotzebue, and Leanna Mack from Barrow. The governor was to pick one of them to finish the term of Westlake, who resigned in December after a sexual harassment scandal.

The House Democrats asked Westlake to resign after several accusations were made against him.

Today, the governor interviewed John Agnaqluk Lincoln of Kotzebue. He’s vice president of lands for NANA Corp. and NANA shareholder.

Lincoln previously worked in Maniilaq Association’s Information Technology Department, specializing in network infrastructure, server virtualization, and Microsoft server technologies such as Active Directory and Exchange. He serves on the Native Village of Kotzebue Tribal Council.

Lincoln holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Stanford University with a focus in Management Science and Public Policy through the Science, Technology and Society program.

He has been an unaffiliated voter but he can change his registration at any time to qualify for the appointment, if it is offered. He would have to be confirmed by the House Democrats.

Also getting an interview is Abel Hopson-Suvlu, of Utquigvik, the city formerly known as Barrow. The advisor to the CEO of Arctic Slope Native Association is also not a Democrat, something that would have to change in order for him to be confirmed by the Democrats.

Or would it? Democrats are backing nonaffiliated people routinely now. Perhaps they will accept either of these individuals without requiring them to reregister.


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. Hard to believe any true Alaskan would (willingly) affiliate himself or herself with the party of Hillary and Bill Clinton…

    • Look at which districts get the most federal dollars and then look at which party promises the most free federal dollars for voting for them.

      We didn’t lose $100m with the Denali Commission under a Republican president.

  2. Drug testing part of the vetting process? Doesn’t sound like it. Just when you think this thing has hit rock bottom, Walker finds a new low, or is it a high? I guess both fit here.

  3. Do we, the “public”, get to know what the “problems” were with the other three people who are already registered Democrats? Or do we just guess the worst? And, why did the District 40 Democrats not know about these “problems” when they supposedly did their vetting.

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