Randy Ruedrich: What it means to ‘rank the red’ for conservatives in November



The 2020 Ballot Measure 2 eliminated Alaska’s Republican primary. The 2022 General Election with ranked choice voting requires:

  • Conservatives must rank the red (vote Republican) in races with a Democrat.    
  • Conservatives should never rank a Democrat in any race.
  • In Republican vs. Republican challenges, conservatives have what can be considered a delayed primary election, which is decided on Nov. 8.  

First, let’s look at the races on the November ballot that have no active Democrat campaigns. Conservatives must select their candidate and vote. Rather than review all of them here, let’s elect a representative or senator who will work with other conservatives to enact worthwhile legislation. 

Endless debates do not advance our agenda. Arguing and grandstanding don’t get results. Don’t let the ranked-choice jargon prevent us from sending our best candidates to Juneau to advance our agenda.

One campaign requires special attention. Sen. Mike Shower was appointed the Alaska Senate in 2017 by Gov. Bill Walker and elected in 2018. In five years, Sen. Shower has not succeeded in passing a single piece of legislation he originated.    

Whilst Senator Shower talks about election reform, he delivered none. As chair of the State Affairs Committee, Sen. Shower failed to pass a single piece of election reform legislation in four years. Of particular note, his 2022 attempt at election reform legislation did not address any change to the problematic automatic Permanent Fund dividend voter registration initiative language. 

Sen. Shower’s committee work product sent to Senate Finance resembled a left-wing end-run. It provided for same day voter registration; four-year absentee ballot requests to maximize loose ballots on campuses, military installations, and retirement facilities; and prohibited organizations like the Republican Party from partially completing absentee ballot applications for distribution to voters. These Democrat election reform jewels were passed out of Sen. Shower’s State Affairs committee.    

For the first time in my 37 years as an Alaska Republican, I testified against a bill from a committee chaired by a Republican. ARP Chair Ann Brown also testified against this Shower committee bill in the Senate Finance hearing. Shower’s Democrat Election Reform bill was not adopted by the 2022 Legislature.

Let’s elect effective Senators and House Representatives in 2022.

Randy Ruedrich served as Alaska Republican Party chairman from 2000 to 2013, served on the Republican National Committee for 13 years, and as an Alaska member of the Electoral College in 2020.


  1. We need more Mike Showers in the legislature. Not less. Judicial reform is the top priority in Alaska and he has been the leader in pushing for it. Full stop.

  2. It was a shame that his well-thought-out bills didn’t receive the support that they deserved. That would be because of the lack of support by fake conservatives such as Geissel and Merrick, to name a few. Your title is “Rank the Red”, yet it is nothing but a disparagement to Senator Shower, who represents true conservative values. What are your values?? The days of trusting claimed party affiliations are over and now we know where you and your flight attendant friend stands. On the left.

  3. Mike Shower is an honorable man, unlike Randy. If you dare to have a differing opinion than Randy, he uses any available platform to destroy you. Randy and his buddy Giessel are virtual twins in their devious character. They are always the smartest people in the room, and if you dare disagree they will turn on you in a flash and use every tool to try to destroy you.

    Mike, understand that these dirty tactics are aimed at you because Randy knows you won’t obey him. We need you and more men with spines in Juneau. Thank you and God bless you.

  4. No surprise. Have never been impressed that he was/is a genuine conservative. I support Mike Shower. He’s a whole lot more inspirational than RR.

  5. Chugiak and Eagle River voters.

    Kelly Merrick last cycle ran as a Republican and then handed the house majority to the Democrats. She stabbed us in the back.
    Rank the state senate race in Chugiak and Eagle River
    1 McCarty
    2. Your favorite write in, I like Fred or Arnold Ziffel
    3 Blank
    4 Blank

  6. “…….For the first time in my 37 years as an Alaska Republican, I testified against a bill from a committee chaired by a Republican……..”
    I guess you were just sleeping through the passage of SB 91 in 2016. Most of the sponsors were Republican. It’s the same kind of ‘criminal justice reform’ that has plunged the rest of the nation into a crime wave.
    I wonder how that happened? It has been a nationwide campaign. Who was it that convinced Senators Coghill, Ellis, McGuire, Costello, Bishop, Micciche, and Egan that it would be a good idea?
    Have you castigated those lobbyists, Randy?

    • LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. A familiar ring to it? the US Criminal Code designed to work with the US Constitution says lose liberty after a finding of guilty by a jury of your peers and visonage for: murder, assault, rape, putting someone in fear of imminent harm of physical injury. Everything else is fines to be paid immediately as remedy in Alaska. Is that what we see being done? If anything else is being done to the people it is not “states rights” or in compliance with the US Constitution. Do you support the US Constitution? States are corporations a created thing not a man. Men have unalienable rights. So, who has a right to “Change the US Constitution”? The people in an Article V convention. That is what the “letter of the law” means in case anyone was wondering.

      • “…….lose liberty after a finding of guilty by a jury of your peers and visonage for: murder, assault, rape, putting someone in fear of imminent harm of physical injury. Everything else is fines…….”
        And if they cannot or will not pay said fines, or continually repeat violations that you fail to list, such as larceny, graft, vandalism, etc? The point of incarceration isn’t punishment. The point is to separate those who cannot or will not live in harmony with society so that the innocent can no longer be harmed by them. The passage and then repeal of SB 91 proved in short order what humanity has already known for thousands of years; the failure to enforce discipline will result in chaos.

  7. Randy, respectfully, who are you suggesting we vote for? Senator Shower is not my Senator, but I had the privilege of chairing the platform committee at the Alaska Republican Convention last April with him on the committee. Mike Shower’s bonafides as a conservative ring true and he was a very positive asset on my committee. I will not argue with your assessment of his effectiveness other than to ask “Why?” Lots of factors play into how much one gets done in the Legislature, including a binding caucus that plays only to the left. Your article needs more information. Thanks for bringing this up.

    • I would and could never forgive Randy for his diehard support for the execrable and corrupt Frank Murkowski in his ill-fated and ignominious gubernatorial re-election campaign in 2006. I could understand Randy not being enthusiastic about Sarah Palin as the alternative candidate, but his steadfast loyalty to the arrogant, corrupt and out-of-touch ‘Frank the Bank’ earned him my everlasting enmity.

  8. The real question is why Mr. Ruedrich continues to support legislators such as Giessel and Merrick who enable democrats to gain power? He supports their campaigns even now.

    Merrick gave 100% control of the House these last 2 years to hard left democrats.

    Giessel’s punishment of republican colleagues (like Hughes, Shower and Reinbold) who didn’t do as she wanted gave power to moderates and democrats in the senate and Giessel fought our republican governor at every turn.

    The Senate was controlled by democrats during Giessel’s reign and she said how proud she was of her work across the aisle. Yet Ruedrich supports these “republicans”!

    How would Sen. Shower get any conservative legislation through a house controlled by leftist democrats all of the last 4 years during his term? Ruedrich doesn’t mention that most important point. He talks about effective legislators who must learn to work with all parties and find compromise which clearly Sen. Shower tried to do, but then criticizes him for doing so.

    Sen. Shower has to find a way to move legislation through a hostile Senate, but if not then he could do what? Nothing? Ruedrich would, in that case, be criticizing Shower for not trying.

    Perhaps Mr. Ruedrich should be focused on electing solid republicans who uphold GOP principles and don’t throw the entire party under the bus by joining democrats then focusing on one senator with who he obviously has an axe to grind.

    Sen. Shower is one of the most conservative legislators in the state and has, at the very least, tried to take on the toughest issues we face such as election and judicial reform. Good luck getting any of that past the moderates in the senate and a house run by democrats.

    In other words, what we’re seeing here is a former Alaska GOP party chairman who’s losing his grip on power and kingmaking. And in his fading days is attempting to “take out” a senator who doesn’t do what he or the establishment wants. End of story.

  9. Randy, who among us believes that ‘Rank the Red’ makes a difference if it’s a fact that Dominion Voting Machines ultimately establish the “winner”?

    Face it: we either trust the election process, vote our conscience, and hope for the best, or we give in to the theory that everything is out of our control and the results are determined by a well-organized network of terrorists who have corrupted the technicalities of hundreds of voting machines and we are doomed.

  10. I live in his district and am proud to support Senator Shower. He listens. He cares about his constituents. I see no reason to replace his experience with an unknown.

  11. We need to elect our best and brightest as Randy says. Mike Shower is one of the best and brightest.

    He has my vote.

  12. Huh? What’s the content have to do with the title. Rank the red then you slam Shower? Hmm, smarmy, which is typical for gop hardliners. You are not a democrat, but you’re close

  13. Mitch McConnell delivered Conservatives 3 anti-abortion SCOTUS judges. Now they are turning on him for a comb over grifter who puts his pettiness over in common people. Craig is a great airport planner, but wants government between a woman and her doctor, this is not a Republican value.

  14. I’ve already voted. I just could not rank Begich. Why?

    His company, Earthpulse, took $26,000.00 from the federal government and never paid it back. When someone is wealthy enough to “loan” themselves $650,000.00 for a campaign, they don’t need welfare dollars from the government.

    The company Begich owns, in part, peddles conspiracy nonsense about mind control programs. When asked if he agreed with the nonsense his company produces, Begich refused to answer.

    So, I voted for Sarah Palin. She is a conservative who will not let us down on key issues.

    I also could not vote for Murkowski. She has let us down too many times. Murkowski wants crazy Nancy Pelosi to be House Speaker… So at least we know where Murkowski really stands.

  15. No wonder, you didn’t get re-chosen for the Republican party..You ARE A RINO from the bottom up. If Mike was in my District, I’d definitely vote for him.

  16. For what it’s worth, you should still rank Democrats if there are multiple and you have a preference between them. See below:

    Your ballot rankings

    1. Republican A
    2. Republican B
    3. Democrat A
    4. Democrat B

    That way, if it ended up coming down to the two Democrats, you could still have a say in the election. Your vote would only go to a Democrat once all the Republicans had been eliminated. If you have no preference at all between the Democrats, then it’s fine to not rank them.

    • No, that means you voted for a Democrat. You voted for abortion, castrating children, unsafe locker rooms, no election security, no border security, etc. Don’t fool yourself, a rank is a vote.

  17. If you rank RINOs, then you have failed. You have rewarded bad behavior and you will keep getting bad behavior. Rank the conservatives, that is the true red.

  18. Ruedrich has gone rogue. He is supporting Giessel, who supports Democrat Matt Claman and Democrat leaning Bill Walker. She is on Walker’s co-chair team, even.

    He supports Kelly Merrick, who is also a democrat in disguise. Ruedrich is poison to the conservative values. Don’t vote for Giessel — vote for Holland. Don’t vote for Merrick — vote for McCarty. If you’re lucky enough to have Sen. Shower as your senator, you’d be nuts to vote for a shill like Massie.

    I think Ruedrich has lost his marbles.

  19. Half time update….

    With 21 replies it’s

    Shower 21
    Ruederich 0

    Maybe we need a mercy rule in politics. Perhaps 25 to Zero and we call the game?

    Should we give a participation trophy or maybe a pizza party for Randy so he doesn’t feel bad?

  20. Stop making political leadership excuses for poor candidates Republicans.
    When Repub Party wants the money but not the debt blame, they merely give marching orders to our DC Republican Representatives. And we make excuses for Lisa, Dan and Don. Chris Bye is right on this.

  21. Appreciate your abilities and help with data and demographics but extremely disappointed to see your hit piece against my Senate Republican colleague. Strategy was underway – of which you were clearly unaware – and ultimately Shower was smart and did the right thing and walked away and let the bill and the effort die because of the poison pills. In a piece about rank the red, your exception should have been about Murkowski, Merrick, and Giessel. But no, not a peep about those three who’ve drifted away from our conservative platform and are empowering the left. Like me, Shower didn’t get his personal bills through but that pales in comparison to what we did get through. It is only because of the conservative wing of the majority caucus that the crime legislation made it through, that the most significant education bill in decades got through, that important capital dollars were added on the floor to the budget for southcentral, the list goes on. Shower was not only a tremendous team player in these efforts but had a lead role. I’ve observed and worked with quite a few legislators; he actually is extremely effective because he understands it is not about getting personal credit, it’s about getting things across the finish line that benefit Alaska.

    • Coming from someone who was actually there, what a concept. This comment holds more weight than anything Reudrich could ever say. Clearly more to the story, thank you Sen Hughes for standing up for your colleague and telling us the rest of the story. Reudrich wouldn’t know the truth if swam up and bit him in the derriere!

    • Thank you, Shelly. Sure miss you in Chugiak, where Kelly Merrick apparently has millions of union dollars to push her crooked campaign while pretending to be a Republican. Redistricting really screwed us and I really don’t think most voters are aware. Ken McCarty does not have the big bucks to fight back, so we can only hope that people research their candidates before voting. The “R” doesn’t mean Jack anymore, but maybe in some cases it means Randy.

  22. On an opinion piece titled What it means to ‘rank the red’ for conservatives in November Mr. Ruedrich says “First, let’s look at the races on the November ballot that have no active Democrat campaigns” then says nothing more about this.

    Mr. Ruedrich then says “Conservatives must select their candidate and vote” then goes on to tell us not to vote for a specific conservative.

    If Mr. Ruedrich wanted to endorse a particular candidate, why didn’t he just do that? Seems to me that conservatives would be better off not listening to a guy who is incapable of following his own thoughts.

  23. Bait & switch article by Ruedrich…….nothing at all in his hit piece about “Ranking the Red” to help us formulate an effective strategy, just a smear of one of the best conservative legislators we have. His support of Kelly Merrick & Cathy Giessel is all anyone needs to know about what a RINO he’s become. If Ruedrick is against Showers, then all true conservatives should support Mike!

  24. I know about misleading headlines from reading the ADN, but this one takes the cake. Somehow it gave no real advice regarding our voting problems (aka Rank the Red) and turned into a diatribe against Mike Showers. I’ve know Mike before he even got into politics and a more honorable man I’ve never met. You will not find one snippet of rumor about his morals or his behavior. Maybe some of the things I’ve heard about Mr. Ruedrich aren’t true but usually where there is smoke, there is fire.

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