Rep. Bryce Edgmon was elected as Alaska House speaker Thursday, three days after he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to unenrolled. Edgmon was House speaker from 2017 and 2018. The latest election ended a 30-day period without a majority in place in the House, the longest in state history.
The final vote was 21 to 18.
Voting for Edgmon (besides himself) were:
- All 15 House Democrats,
- independent Daniel Ortiz,
- and Republicans Louise Stutes, Gabrielle LeDoux, Jennifer B. Johnston, and Charles M. Kopp.
Eighteen other House Republicans voted against Edgmon.
Johnston and Kopp had not previously supported Edgmon. They had formerly backed Republican leader David Talerico. Rep. Gary Knopp, another Republican who did not support Talerico for speaker, was not present for the vote.
Stutes and LeDoux were part of the bipartisan coalition Edgmon led from 2017 to 2018. They consistently opposed Talerico for speaker.
With a speaker in place, Democrats and Republicans are expected to share control of the House. Edgmon told the press that Kopp would serve as majority leader, Rep. Steve Thompson (R) would chair the Rules Committee, and Reps. Tammie Wilson (R) and Neal Foster (D) would co-chair the Finance Committee.