(1-minute read) CATHY GIESSEL TAKES GAVEL
The Alaska Senate gaveled in this morning and elected Sen. Cathy Giessel as its president.
She is the first woman to lead the Alaska Senate in over a decade, since Lyda Green held the gavel in 2007-2008. Drue Pearce was Senate president from 1995-1996 and 1999-2000.
Giessel, a Margaret Thatcher-type lawmaker who has a reputation for working hard and making tough calls, represents Senate District N, serving in the Legislature since 2011. That area is Anchorage hillside and Turnagain Arm communities of Bird, Girdwood, and Indian. She is a nurse practitioner who was born in Fairbanks.
The Senate this year has a record number of women in the top leadership positions — three women and two men:
Rules: Sen. John Coghill of Fairbanks
Finance-Capital: Sen. Natasha Von Imhof of Anchorage
Finance-Operating: Sen. Bert Stedman of Sitka
Majority Leader: Sen. Mia Costello of Anchorage