In her attempt to unseat conservative Mat-Su School Board Member Ole Larson, challenger Dianne Shibe is relying heavily on movers and shakers among Alaska’s cultural and political left.

A gathering of prominent left-leaning progressives anchored a Sept. 23 fundraising event for Shibe.

As reported by the Watchman, her campaign team already includes former Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Patricia Chesbro, who ran a pro-abortion, climate alarmist, and LGBTQ driven campaign in 2022.

The recent fundraiser revealed several other liberal Shibe supporters.

Lynn Kracke, who’s social media posts blast Republicans for opposing abortion, was one of the main hosts of the gathering. While claiming to be a Republican, she was also a staunch supporter of former Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.

Another co-host included Anchorage School Board Member Andy Holleman, an LGBTQ activist who opposed the Alaska State Board of Education’s decision to ban gender-confused males from girls sports. He was also endorsed by Planned Parenthood.

Tom Klaameyer, the current president the National Education Association’s Alaska branch, was also a co-host. As the long-time leader of Alaska’s largest teachers’ union, Klaameyer’s organization has advocated for critical race theory in schools and LGBTQ driven policies.

Other co-hosts included: Sarah Welton, Fred McKenney, Vicki Hewitt, John Notestine, Tim Walters, Lucy Hope, Tim Hale, Jim Sykes, Lori Berrigan, Kristi Short, Jackie Cunningham, Ted Swanson, among others.

In an email to her supporters, Shibe thanked those who attended the fundraiser.

“I am so grateful for all of the support we have been receiving for this campaign so far,” she said. “We need school board members who are transparent and accountable to parents, staff and students. I am excited to make that happen, but we can’t do this without you.”

The Mat-Su School Board currently enjoys a 6-1 conservative majority, with Ted Swanson being the lone left-leaning member. If Shibe, and fellow union-backed candidate Sydney Zuyus, are successful in their bids to oust conservative incumbents Kathy McCollum and Ole Larson, that conservative majority could shrink to a narrow 4-3 edge.

While claiming to be a champion of transparency, Shibe has refused to answer Alaska Watchman questions asking her about where she stands on key issues like parental rights, controversial library books, abortion and contraception referrals at school, transgender sports and bathrooms, mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training, sex-education curriculum, gender pronoun policies, political activism among teachers and more.


— Mat-Su voters will vote on school board candidates during the Nov. 7 elections. Early voting begins Oct. 23. For more information about voting locations, balloting options and registration, click here.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Prominent Alaskan leftists back Mat-Su School Board candidate Dianne Shibe

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 says:

    The ambitious view school boards as little more than an entry point for a political career. Another reason to get the govt out of the “education” business.

  • Lucinda says:

    Why would any left leaning anybody live in the Mat Su landfill of the poorly educated.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      That’s because they’re too lazy to do their own research and form their own opinions. They just regurgitate what they hear from mainstream media without questioning it.

    • Elizabeth Henry says:

      That seems to be a ‘poorly educated’ assumption. Do you have factual data for the levels of education of Matsu valley residents?

      • John J Otness says:

        Lucinda believes meat and produce are made in the backroom at Wal-mart..

      • Lucinda says:

        Yep, according to, 69% of Mat Su are Republican. According to Survey Center on American Life, a project of the American Enterprise Institute, 31% of Republicans have a college degree while 48% of Democrats do. Plus there are a lot of Trump supporters in Mat Su, so ipso facto, they are unintelligent.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Lucinda, a college degree is not evidence of someone’s intelligence. There are many fields that used to require experience (rather than a degree) because experience ensured that the employer was getting someone that was a fit for the job. Now, we have so many people with college degrees and very few know how to actually work in their field. I would rather hire someone with successful experience over someone who has no experience, but a college degree.

      • Thomas Fenner says:

        College education is often led and then reciprocated in leftists ideology resulting in a overrated and inflated expanse of people who cant make it outside the protected educational safe space in the world due to harsh realities in life that require the killing of animals to eat meat, the mating of male and female mammals to reproduce, and the ability to say something that might hurt the feelings of another. Oh and then they want their irresponsible financial obligations to be forgiven by those that chose to learn how to swing a hammer, read a voltmeter, put a fire out, defend a country, I can go on and on …. wait, back to defend a country ………. are u kidding me, I want to leave at this point. There are definitely benefits to extended education, but that should happen as a result of going up and needing to continue to go up. NOT a starting point for children who don’t understand what a loan is.

    • Reggie Taylor says:

      I don’t know, because we sure don’t want them to live here. Please spread the word among your ilk, Lucinda: if you’re left, stay away from Mat-Su.

    • Jen says:

      Even in the Matsu there enough government paid positions along with lesser expensive property that its value will continue rising that too a leftist will had found appealing. I know of some leftists who moved from Eagleriver to Wasilla and Palmer. Their reason is property values for their families future.the matsu churches like the anchorage and eagleriver churches do have to get their ball rolling faster.

  • Soldotnan says:

    Not very loving there now, are we? Aren’t we all supposed to be loving and affirming of other people’s lifestyle choices? What if they identify as PhDs? Aren’t they well-educated then? Trans-doctors are doctors, bigot!

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    I just hope the Mat-su valley use their heads before voting in more useless school board members!

  • FedupwithleftistBS says:

    We need to go back to the days or tar and feathers for these people.

  • Bess says:

    Lucinda’s leftist buddies have moved to the Valley because the cost of living is cheaper due to conservative policies. Leftists are fleeing most of the larger cities that they have destroyed with their stupid and dangerous policies. Even a dog won’t mess in its own bed.