Although incoming Alaska Senate President Gary Stevens is a nominal Republican, the Senate committees are dominated by Democrat Party chairs.
In addition to two Democrats co-chairing the Senate Finance Committee, along with one Republican, seven committees will be chaired by Democrats and four committees will be chaired by Republicans. In one of the committees — Natural Resources — it’s a co-chair award to two Republicans, and all that Sen.-elect James Kaufman was able to get was a vice chair of a committee.
The Alaska Democratic Party was thrilled. On social media, they wrote: “We did it! After making gains, Democrats have flipped the Senate from full Republican control to a moderate bipartisan Coalition.”
The prize committee chair assignments are, as of publication:
Finance: Sen. Bert Stedman-R, and Sen. Lyman Hoffman-D and Sen. Donny Olson-D.
Rules: Sen Bill Wielechowski-D
Legislative Council: Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson-D
Health and Social Services: Sen. David Wilson-R, vice chair Sen.-elect James Kaufman
Judiciary: Sen.-elect Matt Claman-D
Resources: Sens. Click Bishop-R and Sen.-elect Cathy Giessel-R
State Affairs: Sen. Scott Kawasaki-D
Community and Regional Affairs: Sen.-elect Forrest Dunbar-D
Labor and Commerce: Sen.-elect Jesse Bjorkman-R
Transportation: Sen. Bill Wielechowski-D
Education: Sen.-elect Loki Tobin, D
Sen. Bishop will also serve as majority whip.
The Senate majority has 9 Democrats and 8 Republicans, with the eight Republicans turning their back on three Republicans — Sens. Shelley Hughes, Mike Shower, and Robb Myers — and renouncing an 11-member majority in order to form up a majority made up of mostly Democrats.