Alaska House ends month-long standoff, elects speaker
By BECKY BOHRER
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.