Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Governor Bill Walker won’t challenge a decision to reverse his veto of education spending. In late June, Walker vetoed $6.35 million previously allocated to a formula that funds schools based on their enrollment numbers.

The Central Committee of the Alaska Republican Party voted to remove one of its members over the weekend, and several other party officers resigned, all so they can publicly support Joe Miller. He's running as a Libertarian against the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Lisa Murkowski. Republicans describe it as a friendly separation.

Barrow Representative Benjamin Nageak says he isn’t conceding the Democratic primary to Dean Westlake. “No, no, no, I haven’t conceded anything,” said Nageak.
Rep. Benjamin Nageak, D-Bethel, during debate on the creation of Indigenous Peoples Day, April 1, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

There will be a recount on Monday of the Democratic primary results for the House district covering the North Slope and Northwest Arctic boroughs. Representative Benjamin Nageak requested the recount. Nageak trails Dean Westlake by four votes in the certified count. Division of Elections Director Josie Bahnke says the recount will take place in Juneau.

overnor Bill Walker vetoed a bill today that would have set aside University of Alaska board seats for residents from different geographic areas. The governor will continue to be able to appoint the 11 Board of Regents members without geographic limits on where they live.

The outcome of the disputed primary contest between Representative Benjamin Nageak and Dean Westlake is uncertain. Whoever wins, it may unsettle what’s been a unique tradition in Alaskan politics.Democratic legislators have a long history of joining Republican-led legislative majorities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that most humpback whales will come off the endangered species list. And that means some whales that spend time in Alaska. Listen now
Dean Westlake is challenging Barrow Rep. Bennie Nageak in the Democratic primary; in 2014, Westlake lost the race by 131 votes. Photo: Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk

The Democratic primary results for the District 40 House seat grew closer today. Listen now

Congressman Don Young and his Democratic challenger, Steve Lindbeck, both say they've got strong support from organized labor. Listen Now

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board had an unusual visitor at their meeting Friday. Former Attorney General Craig Richards showed up to pitch an unconventional investment idea: oil and gas tax credits. Listen now

As a cost-saving measure, 22 legislative information offices around the state are shuttered starting this Friday afternoon. Listen now
Dean Westlake is challenging Barrow Rep. Bennie Nageak in the Democratic primary; in 2014, Westlake lost the race by 131 votes. Photo: Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk

The Alaska Division of Elections is still working to certify the results of the House race for the district that includes North Slope and Northwest Arctic boroughs. Listen now

Legislators called on state elections officials today to delay certifying the results in a district that covers North Slope and Northwest Arctic boroughs. Those calls are based on concerns about how the recent primary election was handled in some precincts. Listen now

Alaska's new Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth is no stranger to litigation. Lindemuth has been practicing law in the state for nearly 20 years and has argued cases before the Alaska Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Lindemuth also represented clients pro bono, including one of the men known as the Fairbanks Four, helping to secure the release of the men after 18 years in prison. Listen now

The unofficial results of a tight House primary race are in. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue appears to have won the Democratic nomination for House District 40 from incumbent Rep. Benjamin Nageak of Barrow.

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission will keep most of its functions for now, after commission supporters fought to protect it from losing certain duties to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Listen now

Local governments in Alaska that charge a sales tax could have millions of dollars less in revenue this year. Listen now

The Juneau Empire is reporting that Rep. Cathy Muñoz, a Republican from Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, has written judicial sentencing authorities seeking leniency for convicted offenders in a case of child sexual assault and a case of child endangerment related to sexual abuse of a child. Listen now

After four credit downgrades in eight months, Alaska received some good news Monday: S&P Global will not lower the state’s credit rating — at least for now. Listen now

National political podcast host Jody Avirgan and his wife recently visited Juneau, marking Alaska as the 50th state to which he's traveled. Listen now