Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Democratic Senators Organize for the 24th Legislature


November 06, 2004

Anchorage, Alaska - The Alaska Senate Democratic caucus held its formal organization meeting in Anchorage on November 3 in preparation for the 24th Legislature, which convenes in Juneau on January 10, 2005. The number of lawmakers in the caucus held steady at eight, with members returning to the Senate from each corner of the state. Leadership positions were reaffirmed.

Senator Johnny Ellis (Anchorage) was elected by the group to serve as Democratic Leader. Senators Lyman Hoffman (Bethel) and Donny Olson (Nome) were chosen to represent the caucus on the Finance Committee. And Senator Kim Elton (Juneau) was elected to serve as Democratic Whip.

"We're getting our priorities in order for session and we're focusing on going back to the basics," said Senator Ellis. "Better schools and education funding, public safety, affordable health care, repairing our infrastructure, and continued protection against attacks on the Permanent Fund. We want to strike a natural gas pipeline construction deal that maximizes the benefit to Alaskans. And we're looking for ways to save a portion of the oil revenue surplus."

"We pledge to work with Governor Murkowski whenever possible," continued Ellis, "but will hold him accountable when necessary. And that means making sure every member of his cabinet and administration are above reproach in the conduct of their duties."

The Democratic lawmakers also called upon their Republican colleagues to handle business in such a way as to make Alaskans proud.

"The people of Alaska sent this group back to the Capitol because they clearly want balanced representation," said Senator Elton. "Alaskans would like nothing more than for the Alaska Senate to find some middle ground. This caucus has plenty of talent and experience to offer. We ask the Senate Majority to govern in a truly bipartisan fashion - and that means trying to reach consensus on the major issues."

Also returning to the Senate Democratic caucus are Anchorage Senators Bettye Davis, Hollis French, and Gretchen Guess. Rounding out the group is Senator-elect Albert Kookesh (Angoon), who successfully ran to replace retiring Senator Georgianna Lincoln (Rampart).

Source of News:

Alaska Democrats
Web Site



E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions
Submit A Letter to the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska