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Nepotism? Fairbanks assemblyman asking borough to challenge redistricting because his nephew is Rep. Grier Hopkins

Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Chairwoman Mindy O’Neall has called a special Assembly meeting for Jan. 6 to consider a resolution by Assemblyman David Guttenberg, who is asking the Borough to join in as a “friend of the court” in a lawsuit against the new political district boundaries in Fairbanks.

Those boundaries, as set forth by the Alaska Redistricting Board, disadvantage Guttenberg’s nephew, Democrat Rep. Grier Hopkins, whose new district trends conservative and will be difficult for him to win in 2022.

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Guttenberg is complaining that a portion of the Goldstream Road area has been districted into the new District 36, which is a sprawling Interior Alaska District, a shape that is favored by Doyon Native Corporation. Guttenberg wants the borough to file an amicus brief in regard to the new lines, and so the matter is the subject of the special meeting.

But Guttenberg is only complaining about Goldstream, and mentions nothing about the Elliott Highway, much of which is also in the new D-36, and parts of the Steese Highway. He’s only concerned about the redistricted portion that impacts his nephew.

The Borough Assembly had, during the draft mapping process, asked the redistricting board to fix overpopulated districts in the region, and the board complied. The Assembly asked the board to take any the excess population and put it in a single district. The board did that, too. Now Guttenberg is worried about the result, perhaps because it impacts the Guttenberg-Hopkins political legacy.

Guttenberg is a former Fairbanks state representative, who served eight terms representing that part of Fairbanks before retiring from the State Legislature. Hopkins ran for the seat vacated by his uncle in 2018 and won it handily.

The filing deadline to oppose the new districts has already passed, but the amicus brief, something that would be drawn up by the borough’s lawyers, would support an existing lawsuit by the City of Valdez and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Oral arguments for the challenges to the redistricting map are set for January.

The agenda for the meeting has the resolution on it and nothing more. The draft of the resolution is here:

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. Because Alaska is a small State population wise virtually everyone in government has a conflict of interest. The State House and Senate regularly approve legislators with conflicts to vote on legislation because otherwise nothing would get done. Reference the two Conoco Phillips Senators that voted for SB-21, or Redistricting Board Members belonging to the Alaska Policy Forum. Fortunately we have a free press and the First Amendment to publicize these conflicts so that the voters can decide. In the end redistricting will be decided by the State Supreme Court and legislators by the voters

  2. So basically he took a look (after the deadline) and decided he was probably gonna lose.
    So being a good Democrat, instead of fighting for votes he ran to the corrupt court system.
    Tell me again Alaska is a conservative state.

    • In a nutshell, yeah.

      If the courts had any commonsense, they’d rule against the amicus brief because the redistricting board did exactly what was asked of them.

  3. Guttenberg has some serious chutzpah. I know those districts in Fairbanks well – Hopkins will easily beat out Mike Prax to take a seat that should be conservative in new district 34. Redistricting as a whole should favor the dems – if nothing changes, I predict the lefties pick up two seats each in the house and senate. Mr.Rast needs to look at who the dems had on the redistricting board before he goes after the APF “conflict of interest.” The Board thought they had done a fair job.

      • Here’s a postscript, as I was researching how this year’s legislative races were shaping up thus far. Mary is correct, as redistricting places Rep. Prax in the new District 33. Rich is also correct. Evidently, Rep. Hopkins has moved since his last declaration of candidacy and now resides off Farmers Loop Road in the new District 34, whereas his previous residence off Spinach Creek Road is in the new District 36. His expected challenger in District 34 is Frank Tomaszewski.
        I listened in on the meeting and heard predictable testimony from the various dueling factions. If Hopkins is no longer a part of the equation, this must be about the ability of David Guttenberg or Goldstream Valley Democrats in general to dominate or control a district. I haven’t seen or heard from Bonnie Williams in years. Are there any Republicans left out there?

  4. The last map was weirdly drawn too, which gave Hopkins an advantage. If they redrew it the way Guttenberg wants, they would necessarily be disadvantaging some other constituency. Perhaps Hopkins could try to listen to all his constituents and act accordingly? Just a thought.

  5. Aawww, poor Guttenberg and Hopkins. Whine, whine, whine. Hopefully the Borough Assembly will be wise enough to see the whine for what it is.

    • Sally:
      This Resolution will fail. Too many members of the Assembly, and the public, see through this. A different Assemblyman is sponsoring a substitute resolution which supports the current redistricted boundaries. Hopkins kid should start looking for a real job so that he doesn’t have to rely on his parents and uncle for employment. He needs to grow up.

  6. I used to think Louisiana had the most corrupt politics in America. Now that I’m an older adult it’s obvious how wrong I was.

    The only difference between Alaska and old Soviet politics is Alaska has to make a pretense of actual democracy. This week.

  7. Between 2004 and 2010, certain individuals in Fairbanks who shall remain nameless attempted to recruit me to join the Democratic Party. I finally decided against it after observing the way party regulars treated certain people who were faithful to the party but unwilling to align themselves with one or another clique. The Guttenberg Mafia and especially Golden Boy Grier were right up there in promulgating such toxicity.
    That’s an aside to the main point, however. David Guttenberg is certainly shrewd enough to realize he’s dealing with people who have awfully short memories. I’m not one of them. Let’s go back to 2012, shall we? Redistricting had just taken effect and Guttenberg found himself in District 38. This district stretched from the Goldstream Valley to HOOPER BAY! Of course that was perfectly acceptable, because it represented an opportunity to get rid of Alan Dick. The makeup of the new district may have made that difficult, so he resorted to an old Guttenberg trick, an “independent” third candidate, Dorothy Shockley, the sister-in-law of Democratic Senator Albert Kookesh. She was there strictly as a ringer to draw away Bush votes, claiming to live in the village when she really lived off Ballaine Road in the FNSB.
    Even in 2012, there was a precedent. The Supreme Court’s 1972 plan lumped together the western portions of the FNSB, Nenana and Talkeetna in a House district along with the communities of the present-day Denali Borough and Southeast Fairbanks Census Area. This area was represented by Lavell Wilson of Tok, which was his only term in the legislature. The Supreme Court rewrote the boundaries two years later over objections that the 1972 plan split Anchorage into several House districts while keeping the single Senate district which had existed since statehood took effect. The traditional split between the FNSB and rural Interior areas was restored with this plan.

    • Another Hopkins dirty trick. No wonder they are referred to as the Interior Democrat Mafia Family. The chair of the Redistricting Board saw this too. Thank you, sir.

  8. This guy looks like he just shook himself after a wild night of steady pot smoking at the Hopkins Ranch. Grabbing a tie and a cup of joe ain’t going to make you look any better, dude. The Hopkins Cabal up in Fairbanks is well known. Daddy Luke, the head hippie, tried his darn’est to start a civil war over over those who heat their homes with wood stoves and those who burn oil and gas, during his terrible reign as mayor. Luke now sits on the gas board. Mrs. Luke runs all her kiddies campaigns. Grier inherited the House Seat from his wackie uncle, Guttenberg (Mrs. Luke’s bro). Sis is married to Scott Kendall, disgraced former governor Bill Walker’s lap dog and election rigger in chief. Kendall tried to save the former Lt. Governor’s bacon during the pedophilia episode in 2018, but he failed and his boss, the corrupt Bill Walker paid for it. And there’s more: Kendall helped his brother-in-law, Grier, win his House seat in 2020 with the same shenanigans that took place in other Democrat districts…..mail-in vote fraud and balloteering. The failed Recall Dunleavy and ranked-choice voting are Kendall inspired operations. And now this, another Hopkins Cabal move to keep Grier in his House seat through his wacko uncle’s proposed amicus to the court. If things weren’t so damn obvious up in Fairbanks, this family’s political involvement would be as entertaining as the Beverly Hillbillies. Thank gosh for someone wise on the Redistricting Board.

  9. The map is already carefully gerrymandered to preserve the liberal majority in the House. Why would he mess this up?

  10. Nepotism?

    Don’t get me started when the last president of the US hired his children to fill roles that didn’t exist.

    Have you seen the maps? Do you understand the maps?

    How about the one that jumps from Eagle River and picks back up in East Anchorage? They are supposed to connect entirely together.

    Gerrymandering at its finest. All maps in Alaska are being drawn by Republicans, and all of them favor the Republican Party.

    How about constituents in this state who aren’t in either of the two major parties? Hence why rank choice voting was and is nessessary to close the gaps.

    • Sure. Hunter Biden’s official job is to advise Brandon on drug trafficking and oil pipeline delays.
      Sounds like Grier Hopkins needs his mom and dad to run his political life, and for his crazy uncle and his brother in law to save him. Has Grier ever actually worked for a living? Does he have a real job?
      If the FNSB Assembly actually passed this piece of nonsense, then Fairbanks probably has the dumbest people in the state.

  11. “All maps in Alaska”? You must have missed the story Suzanne published just the other day about the Chris Constant-helmed Assembly redistricting. Constant is a Democrat, in case you didn’t know. His top priority appears to be putting himself and Forrest Dunbar together in one Assembly district. In pushing Prop 12 two years ago, his sales pitch to some community members was simple: “I want a partner”. I’ll leave the meaning of that up to your imagination. Anyway, one proposed maps pairs Girdwood, Indian, Rabbit Creek Road and middle and upper Dearmoun Road with Chugiak and Eagle River. Other maps pair Muldoon with portions of the Hillside south of Service High School while pairing Basher with the eastern and southern Hillside, which in both cases are connected only by significant stretches of uninhabited parkland. So what was this you were saying about Republicans again?

  12. I thought they had more stones up in the interior. How do all these tough Fairbanksians let this corrupt family run their city and region with such authority? It’s pathetic. Take your city back. Don’t become Anchorage..

    • Correct, Lawrence. Most Fairbanksans did not know that Scott Kendall is married into the Hopkins-Guttenberg Family. Biggest political animals in the Interior and corrupt as hell. But the word is getting around, finally. This Family is supported and financially healed by all the Marxist and Left-wing kooks near the University. That corrupt former governor Bill Walker is also a big supporter. No one in the area really believes Grier Hopkins won his house seat last year. Hopkins never even campaigned. Scott Kendall is the king of dirty tricks in this state and he made sure Hopkin’s district was loaded with mail-in and harvested ballots, and lots of LGBTQ votes from university students. Hopkins can’t stand on his own two feet. He takes orders from mommy, daddy, crazy-ass uncle Dave, and corrupt Kendall. I hope my cross-town friends weed this punk out of office next fall.

      • Good reply. No one believes that Adam Wool really won his house seat last year either. I’m in Wool’s district and I saw Mr. McKinley campaigning everyday, but not Wool. I wonder if Scott Kendall “fixed” this district with fraud votes too? I’ll be there at the Borough meeting on Thursday to express my views about the Hopkins nepotism matter. Thank you for posting this story, Suzanne.

        • I’ll be there too. It will be interesting to see the Hopkins gang all seated together with their Leftist supporters. Bring your cameras.

  13. The main thing that David Guttenberg does transparently and extraordinarily well, is put the “Gut” in Guttenberg. That is not anticipated to change…

  14. Gutless nephew Grier has not worked much in his life, in fact Daddy Luke probably did more work as a UAF custodian in one month then Grier has done in his whole life. Shameful. After talking with him in person, I can state the Grier is not too bright either and definitely a puppet boy to the big political bosses.

    It should be mentioned the whole family subscribes to the ‘Good for Me but not For Thee’ way of life. They believe they are above us little minions. Kendall/Hopkins/Guttenberg dynasty want to remake Alaska into the images of Washington and Oregon; with free handouts, no natural resource development and lots and lots of social service dependent bums.

    • Luke was a janitor? I thought he was a carpenter. I did hear once that the UAF physical plant had to always send out a second guy to clean-up after Luke finished a job. Guess that’s why he ended up in politics.

  15. Although the state will not remove the Dominion voting machines, we are confident that Grier Hopkins made it into office with Dominion, flying in people to go door to door and filling out ballots that the voters did not use. Also, with Kawasaki, Grier Hopkins, and Adam Wool, Soros Foundation money was involved. This same money was used to get Ballot Measure 2 passed. The Dominion algorithm in use makes certain that it looks like a close race. The MIT genius discovered the algorithm. Corrupt politicians like these including David Guttenberg thrive on deception and outright lying and have made a mess in the legislature. Their goal is to block any efforts by our conservative legislators. They are a corrupting influence on this state and with the use of dark “money.”

    • Should be a well attended meeting on Thursday at the FNSB Assembly chambers. Can’t wait to watch crazy uncle dave fight for his nephew’s political life.

      • Will the Hopkins be passing out any free marijuana during the Assembly hearings? Putting it in cookies always works, as long as the older hippies dentures are secured.

        • Even though some of these comments are cute, the real issue here is much more serious. Elyse and Luke Hopkins should be ashamed of themselves. They have been in politics all of their lives in the Fairbanks area and have been blessed with some big political victories. But to use their family names and ties with their relatives to keep their only son in the political game, while interfering with legitimate efforts by the state Redistricting Board, is beyond the pale and is an indecency to all voter in the FNSB. Grier Hopkins has learned to rely on his mom and dad for his entire political career, including long employment in Juneau as an aide to his dad’s Democrat friends who served in office. Now, he is counting on his uncle who sits on the Assembly to save him from sone formidable competition in the fall election.
          His brother-in-law, Scott Kendall, has a record of dirty tricks and outright meanness. The entire Hopkins family have been huge supporters of Recall Dunleavy and Rank Choice Voting, both issues broached by Scott Kendall and backed by the corrupt and disgraced governor Bill Walker. It’s time for Elyse and Luke to let their son Grier stand like a man and fight for his own political life. It’s become rather obvious to voters that Grier Hopkins is going to be heavily challenged in the fall. Let’s see what he can do without the inside resources that Elyse and Luke use for him to rely upon. Let’s see if he can stand up like a real man.

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