'Intent' is good enough for judge in Homer city council election-residency case - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, September 24, 2021
HomePolitics‘Intent’ is good enough for judge in Homer city council election-residency case

‘Intent’ is good enough for judge in Homer city council election-residency case

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An Anchorage judge has decided that a person’s intent to move into a political district is good enough for them to run for office.

According to Judge Josie Garton of Alaska Superior Court, the intent to live somewhere puts the seal of legitimacy on that aspect of a person’s candidacy.

Judge Garton has explained her reasoning for her Dec. 9 decision not granting a temporary restraining order against Homer City Councilwoman Storm Hansen-Cavasos.

[Read: Round One: Homer litigants denied in court]

Tom Stroozas, the Homer resident bringing the complaint against the Homer City Council for seating Hansen-Cavasos, is unlikely to pursue the case; without the temporary restraining order, the court matter could last for two years.

The judge’s ruling means that the case won’t be fast-tracked by the court system and that Hansen-Cavasos will be able to serve for most of her elected term before the case actually would ever be resolved. By then, they’ll be into another election cycle in Homer.

Dropping the case, however, allows the ruling to stand as case law, and has impacts in other jurisdictions.


Storm Hansen-Cavasos lived outside of Homer city limits, and intended to move into the city during the year prior to the Oct. 1 municipal election. There was a lot of evidence that she had not moved before October, 2018. She had, however, moved by August, 2019, filed for city council in August, and was elected to the post in October.

According to the judge’s explanation, while verifying the qualifications of candidates running for Homer City Council, a deputy clerk noted that Hansen-Cavasos was not on the October, 2018 voter rolls. She notified the city clerk, who had a conversation with Hansen-Cavasos, and researched the matter with the Alaska Division of Elections, before deciding that Hansen-Cavasos met the criteria for living in the city limits for the year leading up to the election.

Judge Garton used the word “intent” several time in her legal explanation, released Dec. 10. She noted that the likelihood of the plaintiffs winning the case was improbable. Must Read Alaska’s efforts to reach Stroozas for comment were unsuccessful.

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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

  • Wow this is the Judge those wanting a Permanent Fund dividend need to get, after they receive a check while living out of state, because they intend to move to Alaska.

  • If “intent” constitutes action, that tells me that the “thought police” are in action again. This is the same thing Shiff (pencil neck) and the other federal leftist dems said about “impeaching” the President of America. The “intent” or “possible” motives are enough for impeachment, no evidence necessary. Illegally moving into small town politics with a false residency claim (and intent to relocate) is legal too now, I guess, if you’re a leftist. All you need is a leftist judge to aid and abet. Of course, all politics start at one “local” level or another. What works in Homer now will undoubtedly be tried far and wide in Alaska, with precedent set by the face of leftist politics, in this case, “judge” Josie Garton.
    In the cases of all the homicides in Anchorage, what if the murderer/s claim it was their “intent” to only scare their victims? Does that give them a free ride into crime with the assurance they can argue their “intent” was innocent? Does that make all criminals not-guilty because their “intent” said otherwise? Unbelievable. I guess if you’re a leftist, it’s the new “norm”. Is there really a two tiered justice system? Hard to believe there isn’t.
    If Mr. Stroozas needs financial help to appeal the ridiculous decision, I’ll donate immediately. How about the rest of you conservatives? Post it right here Mr. Stroozas. Everyone isn’t a leftist. I’m sure we can drum up financial help for the cause of equal, fair and non-political justice.

    • Mr. Stroozas is looking at this through a clear lense, unlike you Ben. Go ahead and piss your money away on this folly.
      The reality of the situation has given Stroozas a clear head. And he is unwilling to spend his money going after another decision.

  • Case Law… one judge lies and other judges swear to it.

  • Intent. What a crock …. Another liberal judge screws over honestly held seats to any election … There goes the definition of districts !

  • That’s similar to the excuse they used to let Hillary off the hook concerning her mishandling of classified information. They said she didn’t intend to do wrong.

    • Did they actually say she did not “intend” to set up a private server in the closet of her apartment? That some technician apparently snuck into her apartment and set the server up and directed her emails to it? All without her knowledge? Obviously those hearing such nonsense had no intention of following the law. Does that mean our FBI, our pinnacle law enforcement agency, is crooked as a dog’s hind leg?

  • Judge Garton is a liberal and was appointed by Walker. I’m not surprised about the ruling. However, I think that they should appeal the ruling to the Appellate Court. As Ben Colder said, if “intent” is the basis for determining that someone can proceed with running for office, than someone could use the same logic as to the PFD, etc. I believe this judge is clearly wrong and that the case could be won on appeal.

  • I intended to drive the speed limit.

  • The determination is not intent alone. It is intent combined with a move. If you move and intend to stay, then that is your residence. If you move and do not intend to stay, that is not your residence.

    • Ahh, but that is not what the City Code states. I hope the City Council gets to work reconciling City Code to conform to this activist judge’s ridiculous opinion.

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