Alaska Democrats, Republicans form coalition Senate majority

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 Alaska Democrats, Republicans form coalition Senate majority
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska state Senate will have a coalition of Democrats and Republicans serving as a majority caucus next January, officials announced. Friday.


The coalition will include nine Democrats and eight Republicans, leaving three members of the 20-seat chamber in the minority.

Gary Stevens, a Republican from Kodiak, will serve as Senate president. Among other leadership positions include Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat, as Senate rules chair, and Cathy Giessel, a Republican who previously served as the body’s president and regained her Senate seat in this year’s election, as majority leader.

There will be three co-chairs of the powerful Senate finance committee: Sen. Bert Stedman, a Sitka Republican, and Democrats Lyman Hoffman of Bethel and Donny Olson of Golovin.

The majority said its priorities will be lowering Alaska’s high energy costs, improving education and revitalizing the state’s economy.

“This is a new era in the Alaska Senate. It is an opportunity to build relationships with members across the aisle, the other body, and the governor so we can work together to resolve the issues Alaskans face in education, the economy, and high energy costs. Together, we will keep Alaska a place where generations of families are proud to call home,” Stevens said in a statement.

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