New, all-Republican Senate majority forms

Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, at a Senate Majority press availability in 2017. Giessel will be the Senate president in the 31st Legislature. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The Alaska Senate announced a new, all-Republican majority Sunday.

Anchorage Sen. Cathy Giessel will be the Senate president when the 31st Legislature is sworn in on Jan. 15.

Anchorage Sen. Mia Costello will be the Senate majority leader and Fairbanks Sen. John Coghill will chair the Rules Committee. Kodiak Sen. Gary Stevens will be chair the Legislative Council.

The co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee will be Sen. Bert Stedman of Sitka and Sen. Natasha von Imhof of Anchorage. Stedman will oversee the operating budget, while von Imhof will handle the capital budget.

Giessel said in a press release, “The Senate is committed to listening to Alaskans who have made their priorities clear: the state budget, public safety and protecting the Permanent Fund and the dividend.”

The caucus said it includes all 13 Republican senators. This excludes Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly, who is trailing Democrat Scott Kawasaki in an unresolved election.

It would be the first majority with no Democrats since 2006. Bethel Democrat Lyman Hoffman has been in the majority the past two years.