Monday, June 5, 2023
HomePoliticsRep. Cronk says he represents 'Bush Alaska' but the 'Bush Caucus' excludes...

Rep. Cronk says he represents ‘Bush Alaska’ but the ‘Bush Caucus’ excludes him due to the ‘R’ after his name

Rep. Mike Cronk represents a wide swath of rural Alaska, from McCarthy to Eagle, Venetie, Tanana, Cantwell, Northway, Tok, Ft. Yukon, Healy, Two Rivers, Moose Creek, Manley, all along the Yukon River, down the Parks Highway, as well as the Copper River Basin, and everywhere in between.

But as a newly elected member of the Alaska House, he has been excluded from the “Bush Caucus” by its other members.

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The only explanation he can come up with is that he is a Republican, and that the Bush Caucus is now a club for Democrats.

Cronk arrived in Juneau and immediately reached out to Rep. Bryce Edgmon and Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, who represent areas from the Aleutians to Kotzebue. They kept waving him off, however. Cronk says that Edgmon told him, “We will talk about it.”

But entry into that group of lawmakers was always out of reach, and Cronk eventually, after he met with Edgmon for the third time, he realized they simply were not going to allow him to join the group of Democrats and fake independents.

“As a new legislator who grew up in rural Alaska (Northway), who lives in Tok and represents the most diverse district in Alaska (District 6), representing ‘bush/rural’ Alaska was of the utmost importance to me,” Cronk wrote to his district. “District 6 consists of 9 ‘remote’ villages and over 35, small road accessible villages/towns/cities. It was imperative that I be a part of the ‘Bush Caucus’ so I could work with the others that share the same issues so we could work together to best represent bush/rural Alaska as a unified voice.”

Cronk, who grew up in Northway, is the father of four Alaska Native daughters who are Doyon shareholders. He is a retired teacher of 25 years.

“It was clear that the following did not matter: I represent over 40 villages/small towns/cities. I grew up hunting, fishing, and trapping. I live a subsistence lifestyle.I grew up in a village and learned the traditional ways from the Upper Tanana people,” he said.

“I understand the needs of our people as well as the needs of our villages/small town/cities. I have done my absolute best to represent all people of District 6 as well as the entire state. If the Bush Caucus wants to truly represent all of ‘Bush/Rural Alaska,’ it needs to look beyond the political letter after the name,” he wrote. He added that in the past, the Bush Caucus would work with the Republican majority because that’s how they could get money for infrastructure needs in rural Alaska.

“But more recently, with the PFD becoming an issue and money becoming more scarce, they’ve caucused with the Democrat majority who favor more government,” Cronk said.

It seems to me that with all the issues that affect Bush Alaska such as: PFD, PCE, education, rural sanitation, lack of infrastructure, managing fish and wildlife for food first, environmentally safe resource development, salmon runs on the Yukon, loss of firefighting jobs, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, public safety issues, domestic violence, sexual abuse, lack of broadband internet, and lack of jobs, wouldn’t it be fitting to have a Republican as part of the ‘Bush Caucus’ for unity, diversity, and show that we are all working together for Bush/Rural Alaska?”

It was a rhetorical question, no doubt.

“Rest assured, ‘Bush Caucus’ member or not, I will do my absolute best to represent all of District 6. From McCarthy to Eagle, Venetie, Tanana, Cantwell, Northway, Tok, Ft. Yukon, Healy, Two Rivers, Moose Creek, Manley, all along the Yukon River, down the Parks Highway, as well as the Copper River Basin, and everywhere in between, you will be heard and represented,” he wrote. “You will know that your representative will be there for you (the people) before government.”

Read: Mike Cronk launches campaign for House District 6.

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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. Not exactly. If there was a “INO” after the “R” then he would be allowed in the caucus. Just look at Louise Stutes

  2. Congratulations on your win for District 6, Representative Cronk. Obviously, your constituents really like you….even though the Democrat leaders in the Bush may not. Who cares. The Democrat’s candidate was a little girl who didn’t even live in District 6, never owned a home, had no family with children of her own, and was a retarded woke emblem of the radical left. Representative Dave Talerico and former Representative Dick Shultz should be commended for outing her and making sure District 6 knew about her fraudulent candidacy. Mr. Cronk was the superior candidate and had far better credentials than the little girl who pretended to know what she was doing.

    • Good comment, Naomi. Dave Talerico told us that “the little girl” was Julie Hnilicka who tried to play him by getting as much info on Dave’s constituents as she could. Dick Shultz saved Mike Cronk by getting District 6 to not vote for Verhaegan (who was a spoiler). Hnilicka would have been a disaster for District 6 and a rubber stamp for the Lefties in Juneau. She’s toast. Thanks, Dick and Dave.

      • Julia Hnilicka couldn’t even qualify as a candidate for Nenana City Council because she didnt live in Nenana. LOL. These Democrats are such frauds.

  3. Of course he was excluded from the Bush Caucus! Not because he is a Republican, but because he is a white male, all of whom of course are racists and therefore the most evilly evil of the evil.

  4. Rep. Mike Cronk’s background speaks for itself and his input should be welcomed by the Bush Caucus!

  5. Same with AFN dissing the Governor. Non-Native Republicans cannot be rural no matter how many generations they may have lived in the Bush. And it’s especially true of House Republicans. So who do you think is the better shot with a rifle; Cronk, Edgmon, Hoffman, Zulkosky, or Foster?

  6. Hang in there, Rep. Mike Cronk. The desire for consensus and jobs will eventually return the Native leadership to working with us, if they won’t outright join us.

  7. Welcome to dealing with the modern left, Rep. Cronk. Scorched-earth warfare, whether it best serves their purposes or not.

  8. Bigger government and more entitlement has not helped bush Alaska. It is only increased dependence, lack of self worth, enablement, all aiding and abetting addiction, hopelessness, and deterioration of the family unit as well as the work ethic necessary to maintain a healthy subsistence lifestyle. Their democrat representatives are not helping them but too many are so far down the road of government dependence – the government so many actually ‘hate’ – they can not see and keep re-electing more of the same. Of course thar caucus doesn’t want someone that will rock the boat and actually push for change that would improve the situations in the bush. The left thrives on the power they get from citizen dependence. Really the only way they stay on office.

  9. Mike Cronk does an excellent job of representing his constituents.

    Perhaps THAT is why the Bush Democrats won’t allow him to join?

  10. Well said. The dems, however, would rather play with our pfd than to do what is right for our state.

  11. So, is this one more petulant whiner or somebody who’ll improvise, adapt, and overcome to represent his people?

  12. I know you Mike and I know you’re doing your very best. Sorry I missed you at Fast Eddy’s but there’ll be another time. Hang in there my brother! The Bush Caucus doesn’t even know what they’re doing, so perhaps this is a blessing in disguise!

  13. Careful Rep Cronk, The G-Men Squad in black ninja suits (it’ll say “FBI” on their uniforms) might come crashing in on you from above and around at any given time!!! They are notorious for dropping in expectantly and uninvited. AND, anyone that has a “R” designation is a prime candidate for special attention and focus.

  14. No big surprise. Cronk wouldn’t want to vote with the D Bush caucus half the time anyways. Bush Alaska needs inspiration, needs a fire lit deep down to help encourage our kids to better themselves. Job training must start in high school. Kids must be shown opportunities to better themselves so they can better their communities. Let’s use this as an opportunity to build up our District the right way. We got this Mike.

  15. Dems gonna dem. I find the party of tolerance and progressiveness to be the most exclusionary and backward party. I will forever be doing penance for supporting democrats in my youth.

  16. People that live in the bush should keep their opinions to themselves… they live out there so they can be free and live how they wish. But then they demand ferry service so they can get to Costco once a week for they need fresh produce and toilet paper and flatscreens. Then back on the ferry snubbing their noses at that big evil city.. hahahahaha

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