ATTEMPT TO GABBY-IZE DISTRICT #FAILED
The District 15 Republican convention in East Anchorage rarely attracts more than a dozen political activists, but on Tuesday night, there was a good crowd at the door of the Anchorage Baptist Temple conference room.
In fact, it was the best turnout in years. Curiously so.
It turns out, a lot of those people trying to get in were not Republicans. Some were Democrats. Others nonpartisan.
This was not an accident, but reminiscent of 1974, when a group called the Ad Hoc Democrats, a group with whom Bernie Sanders would have been comfortable, took over the Alaska Democratic Party. The stalwart Democrats never saw it coming, but they were taken over by hippies.
In this case, it was an orchestrated hostile takeover attampt in the Republican district of Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.
Because it’s a party meeting, these newcomers were required to register as Republicans before they could gain entrance. And because of party rules, new registrants can speak, but are not voting members of the convention.
A few of them did speak on behalf of LeDoux, who was sanctioned by the entire Alaska Republican Party for her role in flipping the House to Democratic control. She is now Rules chair.
The party asked her to register with some other party because she deceived the voters in her district. And the party is running a candidate against her.
On Tuesday, led by Lisa Vaught, LeDoux’s longtime aide in the Legislature, a couple of the newcomers spoke about how LeDoux had helped them in some way.
It was all quite civil even though the room was stacked with people who had never participated in a Republican meeting.
For the final count, there were just a dozen Republicans at the meeting who were actually qualified to vote, and another 16 whose ink was barely dry on their voter registration cards. Chris Nelson was elected chairman of the district, unanimously.
Because it’s an election season and this is party politics candidates spoke to the gathering: Gubernatorial candidates Scott Hawkins and Mike Dunleavy, Lt. Gov. candidate Edie Grunwald, mayoral candidate Rebecca Logan, and the Republican candidate who is challenging LeDoux, Aaron Weaver.