Over the weekend, the Alaska Republican Party pulled support for three of its members who have joined with Democrats and independents to form a state house majority coalition. They are Kodiak Representative Louise Stutes, Homer Rep. Paul Seaton and Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, who was once Kodiak’s representative.
And while the three were not formally censured, the 56-4 vote did promise to remove all financial and re-election support.
Stutes said she informed the party bosses from the get-go of her intentions.
“It was no surprise to them,” she said. “You know I had a conversation with Tuckerman Babcock prior to the election, and he had asked me about the Republican campaign contributing to my campaign. And I told him the same thing I told the Republican Party on Saturday at their meeting. I made it very clear that my first priority is to my constituency, my second priority is to the people of the State of Alaska, and third and fourth, are the party and caucus and that I intended to caucus with whomever was willing to move this state forward in helping form a sustainable budget.”
Stutes said that her decision was made easier by what she saw as obstructionism coming from others.
“When I hear some of the legislators, the Republican legislators in the House, making comments such as, ‘I’m not doing anything until we have a Republican governor,’ that’s my first clue that they’re not interested in working in a sustainable budget,” Stutes said.
Bob Brodie is the chairman of the District 32 Republicans. He phoned into the Republican Central Committee meeting and informed them that Stutes has the support of her constituency.
“As I told the state central committee yesterday, Louise was elected over here, and since here organization with the Democrats, exactly zero people have called me to complain about it,” Brodie said. “I think people in Kodiak respect Louise for her hard work on behalf of Kodiak and that she would organize to accomplish things in the best interest of the Kodiak community.”
Brodie also pointed out that some of the Democrats in the new House Majority caucused with the Republicans last year and in prior years.
The Alaska Legislature convenes on January 17th.