(1-minute read) KENAI REPUBLICAN GOES AGAINST A REPUBLICAN-LED MAJORITY
Rep. Gary Knopp, who represents one of the most conservative areas of Alaska, voted with the Democrats and the two Musk Ox Republicans — Reps. Louise Stutes and Gabrielle LeDoux — against Rep. Dave Talerico for Speaker of the House and against a Republican-led majority.
The House gaveled in this morning, but the vote for the Healy Republican as Speaker went 20-20, thereby failing.
Rep. Chris Tuck, an Anchorage Democrat, then withdrew the nomination of Rep. Bryce Edgmon, possibly understanding that his nomination, too, would fail.
Knopp earlier had been part of the Republican caucus but then removed himself and joined with the two Republicans who do not caucus with other Republicans. He said he wanted a bipartisan caucus.
His move means that the House is still not organized, a term that means no specific group is in charge and no one is the Speaker. In the interim, Rep. Neal Foster is Speaker Pro Tem.
In his campaign, Knopp may have indicated where he stood. He wrote on his campaign website: “Our State Legislature has spent their time bickering and finger-pointing and the time for a thoughtful fiscal solution is long overdue. We need new blood in the State House.”
“We need a representative who will remember the commitment he made to the citizens of the Kenai Peninsula House District 30 to get things done and find real, practical answers to our budget issues,” Knopp wrote during the campaign season.
Knopp’s district has 5,239 registered Republicans and 1,161 Democrats. Because of the deeply conservative nature of the district, he ran unopposed in both the Primary and the General Election in 2018.