Despite Alaskans voting to send a majority of Republicans to the State Senate, there will be no Republican majority governing the Legislature’s upper chamber.

Instead, a coalition of nine Democrats and eight Republicans has formed a bi-partisan majority, which effectively marginalizes the three most conservative members of the State Senate, as well as any conservative policy initiatives.

In response to the fact that eight Republicans rejected the idea of forming a Republican majority coalition, the three conservative outsiders – Senators Shelley Hughes (Palmer), Mike Shower (Wasilla) and Robb Meyers (Fairbanks/North Pole), issued a statement on Nov. 25 noting that they are proud to stand with the “overwhelming majority of voters across Alaska who demonstrated on their ballots their desire for the Senate to take a right-of-center pathway.

The new Majority was announced during a press conference on Nov. 25. This includes nine Democrats: Scott Kawasaki (Fairbanks), Jesse Kiehl (Juneau), Lyman Hoffman (Bethel), Bill Wielechowski (Anchorage), Elvi Gray-Jackson (Anchorage), Donny Olson (Golovin), Matt Claman (Anchorage), Forrest Dunbar (Anchorage) and Loki Tobin (Anchorage). Republicans in the Majority include Click Bishop (Fairbanks), Gary Stevens (Kodiak), Bert Stedman (Sitka), David Wilson (Wasilla), Jesse Bjorkman (Nikiski), Cathy Giessel (Anchorage), James Kaufman (Anchorage), and Kelly Merrick (Eagle River).

Unfortunately, the new coalition is bound by terms counterproductive to what I ran on and seems to be focused on maintaining the status quo.

– Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla)

The three senators in the new minority had previously proposed to all of their Republican colleagues a proposal to form a Republican majority.

Hughes, who served as Senate Majority Leader in the last legislative session, urged newly elected Republicans to honor the fact that 65% of Alaskan voters had voted for Republicans to represent them in the State Senate. A letter to this effect was sent to her colleagues earlier this month.

Hughes proposal fell on deaf ears, however, as Democrats and left-of-center Republicans decided to forge ahead with a new majority that has pledged to steer clear of so-called “controversial issues.”

The Minority coalition’s statement notes that Hughes reached out to Republicans, both over the summer and in the days following the Nov. 8 general election to try and form a Republican majority for the upcoming session in January. Her goal was to both ensure that a Republican majority would meet its constitutional duty of passing a budget, and to avoid the binding caucus rule which requires members to pledge to vote for the budget before the session even begins – sight unseen. Failure to do so, typically results in punishment, such as loss of chairmanships, committee assignments, staff, staff pay, district resources and office space.

Hughes wanted to avoid this coercive policy.

“Unfortunately, in response to the reasonable proposal offered, only one Republican colleague (who is now a member of the Democrat-weighted Majority) contacted Hughes at the last minute to convey they were not interested in the proposal nor willing to come to the table to dialogue,” the Minority coalition’s statement claimed.

“It’s very disconcerting that my fellow Republicans in the Senate were not even willing to have a conversation about joining together for the betterment of Alaska, but more troubling than that is my colleagues defied the voters and have let Alaskans down,” Hughes stated. “When 65% of Alaskans send a majority of Republicans to represent them in the Senate in Juneau, they are voting for a right-of-center Majority. Alaskans are concerned about high inflation, gas, and energy prices; Biden’s anti-resource development policies which are harmful to our state; and leftist policies that hurt families and children.”

We understand that voters have been betrayed and a very substantial majority of you cast your votes against watered-down principles, left-leaning policies and for a right-of-center majority.

– Sen. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer)

Hughes claimed that Alaskan voters clearly wanted Republicans in charge of the Senate, and that they preferred “preferred policies based on conservative principles that will open up new opportunities and promote a strong economy, strong communities, and strong families.”

Fellow Minority member Robb Myers expressed a similar sentiment.

“I had hoped to join a majority focused on fixing our long-standing fiscal problems and moving the state forward,” he said. “Unfortunately, the new coalition is bound by terms counterproductive to what I ran on and seems to be focused on maintaining the status quo. Nonetheless, I am focused on being as productive as possible for my district and the state under the new arrangement.”

Wasilla Sen. Showers also expressed his dismay at seeing fellow Republicans squander an opportunity to form a majority coalition next year.

“It’s disappointing a majority of Republicans rejected discussing the formation of a Republican controlled Senate among the 11 of us,” he said. “We presented a common-sense path forward: 1.) separate the PFD into its own bill to prevent legislators from having to commit political self-destruction voting against it year after year and 2.) agree to some version of a spending cap limit to ensure controlled growth of the operating budget. We made two basic requests to ensure Republican senators were not put in untenable positions on hot button issues in their very diverse districts. Instead, our colleagues appear willing to throw away a clear Republican majority for a Democrat-dominated Senate: 9 Democrats joining 8 Republicans. Their arrangement is hard to justify considering roughly two-thirds of first place votes in the Senate races went to Republicans.”

Despite being on the outs with the majority, Shower said he plans to work closely with Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the Republican-dominated State House to advance critical policies.

“I will work on the repeal of ranked choice voting, continue election and judicial reform efforts, and will never give up on a balanced budget comprehensive fiscal plan Alaska desperately needs,” he said. “There are many ways to solve problems. I’ll do whatever I can and whatever we must do to move Alaska forward.”

Hughes said the Minority may be “small, but we will be mighty.”

“We understand that voters have been betrayed and a very substantial majority of you cast your votes against watered-down principles, left-leaning policies and for a right-of-center majority,” she stated. “We will stand up and fight for Alaskans every chance we get. We will also work to find consensus with the Bipartisan Coalition wherever and whenever we can to advance items that will lead to a better future for Alaska. In the end, we will be true to Alaskans and to our districts.”

Conservative Alaska senators dismayed that most Republicans joined Dems’ left-of-center majority

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.


  • Jim Mullen says:

    The far-right is no longer in a position of power as everyone moves toward the middle. Evidence of the anti-Trump movement is clear. Tshibaka (both Kelly and Niki), Palin, and all those endorsed by Bronson are evidence of the decline of the far-right.

    • Richard K CORBeil says:

      it is only the far right when viewed from the insanely far left.

    • Ceak says:

      there is no “far right”. The Democrats just keep moving farther left and taking the moderate Republicans with them.

      • Truth Network says:

        When the leader of the Republican Party sits down for dinner with an anti-semite and a white supremacist, I think we can safely say that the “far right” has indeed moved further afield.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Jim, from what I see happening around the world, this is becoming a case of not right or left, but humanity against a world collapse. I vote for people who want humans to keep existing on this planet in a healthy environment.

  • Lobo says:

    What is “Far right” ? … Publish the names of the senators that joined hands with the democrats, and go ahead with a recall petition. Rather than move to the middle ( limp-neutral), represent the voters that gave you that position.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Most of those elected Senators that ran with ‘R’ next to their names are imposters. They are not Republican nor remotely conservative and only register as Republican as in their districts having a ‘D’ next to their names almost insures not being elected. We have reared up now a couple or three generations of low information voters that only look to that official letter in their voting decisions – typically at the polls with zero attention paid prior. Then add the voters that do know the candidates are faux republicans and there are enough votes to usher in the left leaning imposter. It is tragic and cleaning up our voter rolls and ridding ourselves of RSV will help, as then our closed primary can return with a better chance of weeding out the imposters. What a sad day we are in when relativity and no sense of right or wrong now rules. It is all about power and control foe the left and they will entrench their narrative of victimhood, ‘rightful’ dependence, misguided ‘rights’(abortion as birth control), mental illness as accepted norm, and very expensive poor education (easier to control the minimally educated).

    Republicans need to wake up and start setting a different narrative – one of responsibility, dignity, hope, work ethic, treating others as we want to be treated, and value for life. Be proactive instead of reactive. This will require much sweat equity as right now evil reigns in our world – ideologically, spiritually and financially.

    • Truth Network says:

      Hi Elizabeth, What exactly is a Republican these days? I’m a Republican from the time when the party had principles, but since about 2010 the only principle espoused by the GOP has been obstructing the other party. Somehow we need to get all the Republicans in the room, and force them to view that old classic movie, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”. Legislating isn’t about name-calling and performing for the cameras. It’s not about grievance. It’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat. It’s about BEING AN AMERICAN.

      America first. Alaska second. (R) or (D) should be so far down the list that we don’t even think about it.

      • Michael Johnson says:

        Well, to answer your question both R & D politicians once swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States and actually represented the people. Now fast forward to today, where they ignore the will of the people and run our nation into the dirt. There is governance with integrity and responsibility and there is the opposite as clearly shown by the Biden Administration, which is trying its best to be a criminal syndicate allowing human trafficking across our southern border and deliberately destroying our economy. I would call that kind of governing irresponsible and downright criminal. Juneau is going that direction as they deliberately ignore the will of Alaskans. As for your earlier accusation about President Trump, you obviously follow the false narratives of the fake news and bear false witness against a good man. Shame on you!

  • Marlin Savage says:

    Anchorage and Juneau have been Californicated, Alaska Falls as the rest of the Left Coast has already Fallen…..

    • ML Moore says:

      I agree with you! We need to stop this infestation of liberalism into our state. Alaska, has always gone their own way, and did not participate in the madness going on in the lower 48. We need to hold that ground, and if our so called Representatives can’t get it done then we need to generate petitions with initiatives to keep this state a state that embraces moral values, and common sense.

    • Lobo says:

      The Commiefornians move up here to escape the mess that they created, and bring their same Commiefornian ideologies with them up here.. They then want to vote for the same leftist politics up here. Most moved into Anchorage, and now there has been an exodus from Anchorage to the Mat-Su valley.. I should add, however, it’s not appropriate to label everyone of those from Commiefornia as leftist demoncrats. People move for different reasons, but they don’t represent the substantial numbers of leftist infestations.

  • John says:

    People are tired of this “right vs left,” “us vs them” and “conservative vs liberal.” Both sides have some good points and some bad points and moderates seem to be the only ones who can sort them out.
    Moderate Republicans and moderate democrats and those willing to negotiate are gaining traction and will take over soon.

    • Richard K CORBeil says:

      No, they don’t. Leftists are Marxist and utterly devoid of good points. Moderate Republicans and moderate democrats are all the same leftists.

    • Dana Raffaniello says:

      Democrats are not moderates. Look at dunbar, he is no moderate

    • Jen says:

      Probably that’s where we are heading. Being a moderate, continuing to compromise principles, never improved a society/nation. Once flourishing nations all been destroyed because of pagen idolotry and bad compromises made through moderates without principles.

    • Truth Network says:

      This is absolutely correct. Anyone talking about (R) or (D) is missing the point. We are all Americans. I wish people would leave their tribal clique mentality and learn that Republicans aren’t the enemy, and Democrats aren’t the enemy. They’re your neighbors. They go to the same church you do. Their kids play with your kids. You see them on the street, you help them when they need assistance. We’re all American, we’re all Alaskan.

      The hateful politics needs to end. Moderates on the left aren’t commies and moderates on the right aren’t nazis.

  • Shelia says:

    I hope that this does not mean that the so-called majority will not work with the first two-term governor in 24 years. Dunbar concerns me, as he would not work with Bronson on anything that I am aware of, and Cathy Giessel being back in and in reality being in control could be a real problem. Many of these old heads are allies of Bill Walker, who actually ran third in the first vote total, while Dunleavy won outright without RCV. So we have yet to see if they will really help move anything along and work with the governor. The question is did the republicans give up their majority for BS promises that will not be kept, and did the democrats focus on achieving power? Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

    • Jen says:

      I think democrats are heading to prop up dunbar as
      its gubnatorial candidate in 2026, if our LORD doesn’t return by then which maybe
      likely since more stuff need to happen, while the current evil bent dunbar as a governor his administration would help usher the christ sooner. Stilll ak
      Gop today need to know who it’ll prop up as its 2026 gubnatorial candidate and take 51% percent of the

    • Don says:

      Giessel is a true RINO, much more democrat than republican. She was part of both Walker’s & Claman’s election teams.

  • Rich Troutman says:

    Hopefully with Dunleavy in his last term will find the intestinal fortitude to use his power of line item veto. From this point forward he has nothing to lose.

    • Diana says:

      The corruption that Dunleavy is in with his AG is proof enough that even he doesn’t know where he is. Hope the three from the Ag team for Dunleavy will have charges against them and we will have new female governor. That is hope beyond hope. Dunleavy hasn’t been able to make a good decision ever.

  • Richard Eide says:

    Proud of MY rep Rob Meyers! As for Click Bishop, RINO as always. Murkowski wanna-be.

  • Craig says:

    Why do republicans always have to be the moderates? There are no “moderate” democrats, please name one. Dems and some republicans praise the republicans who go left and join the democrats as “moderate”. Why can’t some democrats move to the right of center and be so called “moderate”? Why can’t they be expected to move? The answer is simple: they will never do that because their agenda is to keep moving left until there’s nothing recognizable left in our country. Just wait until the country is used to 100 genders; then it’ll be time for people to decide they’re not actually people- they’re animals or trees lol. I saw a video the other day and the female poster said she wasn’t even animate- she was a blade of grass! Not making it up.

  • ML says:

    Well said Richard Eide.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Diana is spot on again! Dunleavy has been buried by his own corruption! He’s afraid and doesn’t want his actions known! This is precisely why we perceive him as hiding, because he is!

  • Charlie says:

    Well, people. We have voted and are “stuck” with what we are reading about. Or are we? Really? This is not government for the people, by the people. This is government by indifference by the people. All we do is talk about it like you see in all the comments. We need some action rather than reaction. If the “people” would collectively agree and begin serious recall petitions for all elected officials that are not performing to the standards of the “people” who elected them, nothing is going to change. We’ll continue to sit around writing our comments and offending each other. Again, this is not government for the people by the people. It is accepting the status quo instead of enforcing the rules of constituency. Example: Has anyone ever heard Lisa Murkowski state that her vote was per the majority of her constituency? I think not. She votes based on her own personal opinions and beliefs. Think about it. We can un-elect if we put our actions to the task.

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    I agree that the RINOS need to be exposed in a negative light they have chosen, as often as possible with questions about their ability to be trusted. These reckless Rinos have no integrity. They are liars. Robb Myers, Mike Showers and Shelley Hughes are heroes and courageous. If it were possible to recall them we should.

  • @KGk100 says:

    This group of 8 went directly against those that put them in office is this not the definition of disenfranchisement the people voted now they go the opposite way they sure werent up front about it were they