House organizes: Dems in driver’s seat

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, east Anchorage, has organized with the Democrats.

A statement from a new House majority indicates the House will go Democrat, with the help of three Republicans who have thrown in with what was the Democratic minority: Gabrielle LeDoux, East Anchorage; Louise Stutes, Kodiak; and Paul Seaton, Homer.

Bryce Edgemon, a Democrat from Western Alaska, is House Speaker and Neal Foster-D and Paul Seaton-Musk Ox R, are co-chairs of Finance.

LeDoux will be Rules chair, and Stutes is majority whip. Les Gara is vice chair of Finance while Chris Tuck is Majority leader.

The Independent-Democrats’ House Minority Press Secretary has also been given a new role: House Majority Press Secretary.

The 18-member House Republican minority will now be the position to demand budget cuts before the Democratic majority can reach its hands into the constitutional budget reserve or enact taxes. Several observers say that it will be just as difficult for the Democrat-led coalition to lead as it was for the Republican one, during tough fiscal times.

Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock said he is ready to look for Republican candidates to challenge incumbents LeDoux, Stutes, and Seaton in the next election cycle.