Surprise: Sen. Holland and Sen. Reinbold throw support to Democrats’ Senate boundaries plan for Anchorage

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Former House members Lance Pruitt and Dan Saddler, both Republicans, testified in support of the nonpartisan plan for Anchorage’s political boundaries at Saturday’s Alaska Redistricting Board hearing.

So did Republican activists Judy Eledge and Jason Warfield. Not many Republicans were tuned in on Saturday, but plenty of Democrats were available to criticize what they say is partisan gerrymandering, as they do.

The board is considering a nonpartisan Map 3-B plan and a Democrat Map 2 plan. Both hurt Republican representation in Anchorage, but Map 3-B would do the least harm, although it still takes the city down to three Republican Senate seats, two Democrat seats, and two toss-up districts. Anchorage appears to be on the verge of losing a Republican Senate seat.

Option 3 – Fair Senate pairings that put together House districts with similar socio-economic profiles (local road boards, avalanche, wildfire and public safety): 

22 and 9 Eagle River and South Hillside 

10 and 13 Bayshore and Taku 

11 and 12 O’Malley and Abbott Loop (what was declared in November) 

14 and 17 Midtown and Downtown 

20 and 21 North Muldoon and South Muldoon 

23 and 24 JBER and Chugiak 

16 and 15 Airport and Sand Lake (what was declared in November) 

19 and 18 U-Med and Mountain View

The surprise proponents on Saturday for the Democrat political boundaries, known as Map 2, were Republicans Sen. Lora Reinbold of Eagle River and Sen. Roger Holland of South Hillside. Those two senators would be paired in the same district and would have to run against each other this year. Evidently they don’t want that to happen.

Map 2 has an adverse impact on the military community by disenfranchising their vote, by taking portions of military votes and lumping them in with majority-Democrat voters, diluting their vote. Map 2 would leave Republicans with just two senators in Anchorage.

Option 2: (Anchorage loses two Senate Seats and JBER):

 Districts:

9, 11 Hillside

10, 15 Bluff

12, 13 Midtown

14, 16 Govt Hill

18, 19 Mountain View

23, 17 JBER/Government Hill

20, 21 Muldoon

22, 24 Eagle River

Already in the race for Holland’s seat is former Sen. Cathy Giessel, who almost certainly would not succeed if Eagle River is paired with South Hillside into a Senate district. By testifying for the Democrats’ map to strip Eagle River of some of its power, Holland might face an uphill battle if his district is extended north.

It’s unclear if Sen. Reinbold will run again. She appears to comprehend that it will be hard to retain her Senate seat if South Hillside and Girdwood were included in that new conservative district, which would stretch from Chugiak all the way south to the ski community, hugging the uplands.

Supporting the two Republican senators who testified was Yarrow Silver, a founder of the leftwing group Anchorage Action and member of Lower Scenic Foothills Community Council. Silvers, a registered nonpartisan, is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that forced the Alaska Redistricting Board to return to the drawing table on the Eagle River Senate district lines, after the Supreme Court told the board to take more public testimony. Much of the testimony has come from Democrats interested in gerrymandering the map to their interests.

There is no testimony expected at the Wednesday meeting, which has been moved to 1 pm, until after the board takes a vote on the maps. Testimony may be taken after the vote. Another meeting may be on tap for 1 pm Thursday.

9 COMMENTS

    • Disagree. Both areas have conservative residents who love God and country and respect the constitution. Lots of veterans in Chugiak/Eagle River.

      • Veterans are predominately conservative, but the current military is not as right leaning as it used to be.

    • Conservative impotent rage.
      Abortion is a right but guns aren’t, chase me out of district if you can.

  1. So help me GOD they swore can you imagine pretending there is no GOD, Nancy pelosi said on tv if you believe in that stuff go ahead. I understand why GOD says vengeance is mine an Christians are suppose to love as I love you Jesus said that. It is easier for two evil doers to go down together to hell than to check each other and find the path of life. Jesus walked into Jerusalem on this day long ago GOD and Jesus are making a list oath takers. Oath breakers got us all here.

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