Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla)

A group of concerned Alaskan voters plan to peacefully rally outside Anchorage’s Nesbett Courthouse (825 W. 4th Ave.) on Tuesday, Oct. 25, to protest the ongoing attempt to disqualify State Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) from being able to hold public office if voters successfully re-elect him during next month’s general election.

Rally planners say the gathering is not just about Eastman, but the right of Alaskans to lawfully choose representatives without activist judges interfering with the will of voters.

Eastman is fighting for his political life due to a court case brought against him by former Mat-Su Assemblyman Randall Kowalke who wants a judge to deem Eastman unfit for office.

The Oct. 25 hearing is to set the length of the trial and work out any last-minute details before the trial starts in earnest in December.

Kowalke claims Eastman should be prohibited from holding public office because of his alleged membership in Oath Keepers, a group Kowalke claims is bent on violently overthrowing the federal government.

The upcoming rally, “Elections by Ballot, not Bench,” aims to highlight that elections and liberties are under attack and the people’s voice is being taken from the ballot box and thrown into the courtroom.

Kowalke alleges Eastman’s association with Oath Keepers violates the Alaska Constitution’s loyalty clause, which prohibits people from holding public office if they belong to an organization which “advocates, the overthrow by force or violence of the United States or of the State.”

Kowalke’s assertion that Oath Keepers is fundamentally an insurrectionist group hinges on the fact that a tiny percentage of its members were charged – but not convicted – in the events that unfolded on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. Two members of the 38,000-member national organization pleaded guilty of seditious conspiracy to try and stop the certification of the presidential election, but Oath Keepers’ bylaws in no wise call for the overthrow of the government, nor has Eastman.

The upcoming rally, “Elections by Ballot, not Bench,” aims to highlight that elections and liberties are under attack and the people’s voice is being taken from the ballot box and thrown into the courtroom.

In a Sept. 20 hearing, Eastman’s attorney – former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller – argued that attempts to remove Eastman from the ballot amounts to an unsubstantiated and politically motivated hit job against a conservative politician.

Kowalke wants a state judge to take the extraordinary step of overturning both the Division of Elections’ finding of candidate suitability and – if need be – negate the will of voters.

Miller argued that Eastman’s association with Oath Keepers is limited to a donation he sent the group in 2009, which resulted in a “Lifetime membership” certificate Eastman received via mail. Eastman has never attended an Oath Keepers’ rally or event, though, and it is not clear that he has any active role in the group at all.

Earlier this summer, Kowalke asked the Division of Elections to remove Eastman from the ballot. The state agency, however, determined that Eastman was a candidate in good standing, regardless of his Oath Keepers membership.

Now, Kowalke wants a state judge to take the extraordinary step of overturning both the Division of Elections’ finding of candidate suitability and – if need be – negate the will of voters by removing a newly reelected state representative after the election.

Last month, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack McKenna ruled that Eastman could remain on the Nov. 8 ballot, but if voters elect him – as expected – the Division of Elections can’t certify the results until after the conclusion of his December trial.

Eastman – a state legislator since 2016 – is the clear favorite in his race. He remains popular in among his Mat-Su constituents, and during the recent primary election he easily outpaced his challengers. His supporters, though, worry that he now has to overcome what they see as a politically motivated court case, perfectly timed to cast a shadow over his candidacy in the lead up to an election.

McKenna has indicated that he thinks Kowalke might ultimately prevail in December, and said the Division of Elections could disqualify Eastman after the trial – and give the House District 27 seat to the runner up if necessary.

In a memo to the judge, Eastman said that ordering a delay in certifying his race would “likely affect voter perceptions and improperly influence House District 27’s ongoing election.”

McKenna acknowledged this, but refused to rescind his order.


— The Oct. 25 rally in support of Rep. Eastman will begin at 2 p.m. outside the Nesbett Courthouse.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Alaska voters to rally outside courthouse on Oct. 25 in support of Rep. Eastman

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Johnny says:

    J6 is a farce perpetuated by a woke mob, this entire country has gone to hell because of these “woke” idiots who seriously lack fortitude, the only thing holding their fabric together is each other lying and someone covering for the lies they tell, it’s all faked woke garbage. Seek real justice by uncovering the details in Hunters laptop, the Biden’s Ukraine and China backroom deals, Epstein’s and Maxwell’s guest list and flight logs, Hillary’s emails, the steel dossier BS. Ashli Babbit’s killer still walks free today, get off your soapbox Kowalke.

  • Lobo says:

    Perhaps they should also “rally” inside the courtroom.. Quietly, peacefully, and with respect, show the judge with their presence, and observance, that it isn’t simply some behind the curtains event… I don’t know anything about this judge, but depending upon an unconstitutional ruling, could this be an example of why he/she should be on the ejection seat ? (unqualified) ? … Then again, he/she may actually follow the law in accordance with the constitution.

  • Charlie Crim says:

    Why is a impartial judge making a statement regarding the possible outcome of a trial before it even begins? Is he trying to sway the voters before the election has taken place? How much of the evidence presented from both parties has he heard in a trial setting? I find Judge McKenna to be highly out of line and he should be reprimanded by his superiors and recuse himself from the case. This is another reason why every voter should vote “No” on the retention of state judges.

    • Michael Johnson says:

      Thanks Charlie and well said! The people need the ability to remove activist judges that refuse to interpret law based on the U.S. and State Constitution. There is legal precedent and then there is legal activism that subverts the law. We need honest judges that show in their legal writings they hold the required legal restraint that prevents political bias. There needs to be more transparency into their legal education and philosophies, including their associations outside of the courtroom. The current state of our judicial system demands this. Our education system needs to have activist professors flushed out of our schools if they are not allowing freedom of thought and expression. Debate on the ideals of Communism and a free Constitutional Republic is essential to our children’s future.

  • micah6v8 says:

    A cursory search brought to my attention the many legal involvements and beefs Kowalke seems to have had in his past. On September 16th, 2019 Kowalke wrote, “Let the doxxing begin” in reference to a political beef he had with Gov. Dunleavy. Maybe someone would like to take up the torch and give him what he is asking for?

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I wonder how much Kowalke receives from Soros to do dirty work here in the valley? Eastman must be making good progress on multiple fronts to save Alaska (and America) and Soros cannot have that. God bless Rep. David Eastman for his work and the care that he has for our great state and our country!

  • Richard K Corbeil says:

    Well, if you can’t win an election with votes, the next best bet is to have your opponent tossed out by a judge.