New election results could change control of Alaska House
A key race in Fairbanks could flip leadership of the Alaska House after new results this week from the Division of Elections show Democrat Kathryn Dodge now leading Republican Bart LeBon by 10 votes.
LeBon was part of a narrow, 21-member Republican Majority which declared victory in the House less than 24 hours after polls closed on Nov. 6.
In order to take control of the House, a coalition of lawmakers, known as a caucus, must have at least 21 members. If LeBon loses his race, it would drop the newly announced caucus' numbers down to 20 — leaving room for a new coalition to emerge among remaining House representatives.
"I don't think they jumped the gun, but I do believe all votes should be counted," Glenn Clary, chair of the Alaska Republican Party, said in a joint interview with the Democratic Party's executive director Jay Parmley Thursday morning. "I think they will be, and eventually, I think Republicans will maintain a majority of the House."
Historically, a group of four Democrats from rural Alaska, known as the "Bush Caucus," have tended to organize with Republicans when Republicans held the majority. A similar organization currently exists in the Senate.
When asked whether that might happen in the new legislature, Clary replied, "Anything is possible in Juneau legislature."
"Because I know those members, those Democrats from the so-called former "Bush Caucus" that would join would and did join with Republicans, I don't really think that will happen," Parmley said.
Both party leaders stressed that elected officials are free to organize however and with whomever they choose.
Election results are slated for certification on Nov. 23.
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