House Republicans appear confident in final stretch - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, April 22, 2021
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House Republicans appear confident in final stretch


Alaska House Republicans held a giant fundraiser on Wednesday night in Anchorage, with over 100 people attending.

The event took place at a hangar adjacent to Lake Hood and had a pre-COVID-19 vibe about it, with a few people wearing masks, but everyone wearing smiles.

In many ways, it was like the “old days,” when Republicans charged forward excited and engaged in Alaska, confident in their prospects.

“This next session is the most important in state history and that makes this election also the most important. You can send down people to Juneau who are interested in dipping hands in people’s pockets or send people to do the hard work required to tackle the challenges in front of us. We need to put the Republicans back in charge,” said Lance Pruitt, House Minority leader. He gave a rousing speech to rally everyone to get through the final stretch and bring the Republicans back to power in the House this November.

The election is 33 days away, and it’s common for the House Republicans to hold an October fundraiser that can be used to drive the messages for their members during the final days.

Most all of the House Republicans were present, with the exception of Louise Stutes of Kodiak, and Steve Thompson and Bart LeBon of Fairbanks. LeBon was taking advantage of good weather in Fairbanks to go door to door, as he is in a competitive race against Democrat Christopher Quist.

Numerous candidates who won primaries but are not yet incumbents were also in the hangar, including Ron Gillham of Soldotna, Keith Kurber and Kevin McKinley from Fairbanks, Mike Cronk from Tok, and several from Anchorage and MatSu — Tom McKay, Ken McCarty, Kevin McCabe, Kathy Henslee, Paul Bauer, and James Kaufman, to name a few.

The mood was upbeat and positive, and although not all of the candidates will prevail in November, the sense of the room is that the Republicans will take back the House Majority that will work more cooperatively with the governor. The governor’s Chief of Staff Ben Stevens attended the event.

Republicans were victorious two years ago, but after the election in 2018, seven Republicans betrayed the majority and installed Democrats in power in a bipartisan coalition. Most of those have been unelected by their districts at this point in the election cycle, but the new Republican candidates still have to make the case to the voters that Republicans present better ideas and will govern smarter than the Democrats did over the past two years.

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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.

Latest comments

  • It will be great when we get a new speaker of the House.

  • We will just have to see how many swamp creatures remain and what their influence will be..

  • There were probably at least 300 attendees. Vehicles were lined up for for well over 100 yards and double parked. The enthusiasm was everywhere. It is about time that the House goes Republican for real!

  • Time will tell .. we will soon know just how many ran under the guise of being Conservative Republicans, just to fool the electorate – fingers crossed that we have weeded out the liars.

  • Now that”s a Coalition I can roll with!

  • Since when is 100 plus a giant fundraiser?

  • Good thing Stutes didn’t show. It would have cast a stench of betrayal over the whole event. She really sold out conservative leadership in the last session and should be held accountable for sucking up to Rep. Poison Ivy and other leftists. She does not deserve to be part of any Republican fund raiser events for awhile.

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