Just moments ago the Alaska Republican Party (ARP) moved to formally begin the process of defeating three Republican legislators (Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, Rep. Louise Stutes, Rep. Paul Seaton) who have joined with Democrats to form a bipartisan majority in the State House.
All three of those Republicans will hold leadership positions in that majority organization. Rep. Ledoux will be the Chair of House Rules Committee, Rep. Seaton will Co-Chair the House Finance Committee, and Rep. Stutes will serve as Majority Whip.
ARP rules allow for party leadership to withhold support for and even recruit and support primary challengers to Republican elected officials if they join bipartisan majorities, but only after a 60% vote by the State Central Committee (SCC). That committee met Saturday morning , and after hearing all three representatives say why it shouldn’t be done, passed a motion passed such motion. The vote was 56-4 in favor.
The same process was used in June to allow party officials to actively work against Republican Rep. Jim Colver in this year’s primary election. Colver lost that election to party-backed challenger George Rauscher.
The SCC had a resolution prepared on the question, but for the sake of time the resolution was withdrawn and a simple vote on the motion to enact the party rule was taken. The motion had stated in part:
“Whereas Representatives LeDoux, Stutes, and Seaton publicly abandoned our Party and their fellow Republican members of the State House to form a Democrat-led majority with 17 Democrats and 2 Indepenendants, and”
“Therefore Be It Resolved that the Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Paul Seaton, and Louise Stutes, are guilty of violating, Article IX, Section 4 (f)(5) and the Alaska Republican Party and all associated Clubs and Districts, are directed to withhold all Republican Party support from these incumbents and that the ARP that the ARP and the associated Clubs and Districts are authorized to recruit a Republican primary challenger to oppose those incumbents.”
This is a developing story. Check back for more information later.