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Alaska House ends month-long standoff, elects speaker

Alaska state Rep. Bryce Edgmon takes the dais after being elected speaker of the House on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Juneau, Alaska. Edgmon was elected speaker on the 31st day of the legislature. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska House has elected independent Rep. Bryce Edgmon as speaker, ending a month-long standoff that had paralyzed the chamber.

Thursday’s 21-18 vote came on the 31st day of the legislative session – the longest stretch the House had gone without electing a permanent speaker.

The vote follows multiple failed, prior efforts to elect a speaker.

Republicans had repeatedly offered Rep. Dave Talerico for the role. While Republicans hold 23 of the House’s 40 seats, Talerico could never muster the necessary support.

A state elections official said Edgmon changed his party affiliation from Democrat to undeclared earlier this week.

Edgmon, who is from Dillingham, was speaker during the last Legislature, when he led a largely Democratic coalition that also included several Republicans and independents.


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