Tuckerman Babcock is taking over as chairman of the Alaska Republican Party after a vote by members at the state convention in Fairbanks Saturday morning. Babcock won by 52 percent in a three-way race against Ann Brown and Ric Davidge.


The final count came after more than 40 minutes of debate on the party’s rules regarding when the chosen chairman should take office. Eventually the party voted to repeal its “legacy rule,” which allowed for a several-month transition period between the outgoing chairman and new elect.


Because of that decision, Babcock’s term began immediately.


Babcock has served as special assistant to former Gov. Wally Hickel, Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission and most recently, as assistant manager of the Matanuska Electric Association.


The Palmer Republican said he’s already working to unify the Alaska Republican Party, which includes multiple factions.


“The coalition that supported me for chairman included a lot of diverse elements, from the most conservative Republicans to the most liberal Republicans, and that’s because they all feel they’ll be given a fair chance to express their point of view,” Babcock said in an interview Saturday. “And I don’t feel like I have to control every outcome.”


Individual districts, he said, should be given more control.


“I would really like the districts to have the authority delegated to them to encourage people to be involved in fundraising and their own activities together to spread information to Republicans in their local area and have less of a top-down party,” he explained.


Babcock replaced Peter Goldberg, who has held the position since 2013.


Rick Whitbeck will serve as the party’s vice-chair.


KTVA 11’s Liz Raines can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.


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