House Republicans lose Knopp from caucus - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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House Republicans lose Knopp from caucus

Kenai Republican House member Gary Knopp has left the Republican caucus. He has not exactly joined the Democrats, but is holding out for a new leadership structure in the House.

The word of his decision has spread quickly through political circles.

Knopp represents a very conservative part of Alaska, District 30. It’s so conservative, that Rep. Knopp ran unopposed.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy won 5,383 votes in this district, compared to Mark Begich, who got 2,169 votes, and Bill Walker, who got 134.

Ballot Measure 1, the Stand for Salmon initiative, failed in this district 5,805-1,883.

Weeks ago, Knopp stood as part of the caucus but had demands. The group didn’t go along with them, so he has stepped out, possibly looking to accept the best offer.

[Read: House Democrats have caucus of 17 — here’s how they take over]

As a man without a caucus, Knopp leaves the House as a 20-20 split between Republicans and Democrats (plus two Republicans who joined with Democrats).

Without one group being able to prevail and own the Speaker’s gavel, the lieutenant governor would have to preside or appoint a Speaker pro tem until such a time as a viable caucus emerges.

The Legislature convenes on Jan. 15, 2019.

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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

  • Wonder how all the republican voters who either contributed money or time to Knopp’s campaign feel about his defection from the GOP majority. Now he has created a problem, all because he was greedy for a perk.

    • What facts do you have to support your assertion of “Greed” and/or “Perk”?

  • What in the world was he holding out for? Isn’t he only beginning a second term? Was he expecting a cush committee chairmanship? My goodness, do we have another musk-rat-ox on our hands?

  • Stand For Alaska beat Stand For Salmon by 3 to 1? On the Kenai? Moose must be plentiful in those parts.

  • Apparently, Mr. Knopp’s assertions a month ago that Suzanne was not an investigative journalist were unfounded. Great reporting Suzanne!

    Mr. Knopp, my question to you is, why did you run as a Republican and fool voters that you were somehow concerned with their welfare when all you apparently care about is what’s in it for you? Your waffling appears to demonstrate your willingness to go with whatever party gives you the best deal. Learn from faker and former Rep. Seaton, don’t make the same mistake thinking voters here won’t mind your deceit.

    • In another recent post on this site, there is a statement from Rep. Saddler wherein he correctly states that outgoing legislators serve until the next legislature is sworn in. The courts decided on this matter a decade before statehood. So how did you come to the conclusion that it’s “former” Rep. Seaton?

  • He clearly needs to hear from his constituents. Okay Kenai, time to put the pressure on this guy!

  • There is a big difference in firmly standing on your convictions and just throwing a tantrum about not getting your way. It seems the latter happened here. Get ready Mr. Knopp, because you are going to have some explaining to do. A whole lot of Alaskans were counting on you – not just those in district 30.

  • If I lived in his district, I’d start a recall action !

  • I hope he is going to be able to move the House Majority to the right. I don’t think a lot of them get conservatives who stand for what they believe in.

    • Based on the comments I’ve seen from him since this came out, I agree with you.

  • I can’t help but wonder if Chris Tuck, Bryce Edgemon, and other D’s went to him whispering sweet nothings in his ear.

    Will this bring Gabby back into the R coalition? Will the R Leadership hold their nose and ask her to join?

  • The people of the Kenai were warned about this faker years ago, but overwhelmingly voted him into office. What does that say about their collective wisdom? They’re the same voter who keep sending Sinister Pooter MixedChickie back over and over again.

  • A bipartsan coalition sounds dreamy and very Alaskan to this longtime Alaskan.

  • Gabby will run to them to break the tie and she will probably get welcomed back into the fold.

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