2016 Elections Recap

2016 General Election Recap2014-08-19-Voting-stickers-2432px

The Alaska Center is committed to engaging Alaskans from all backgrounds in the political process. We believe that Alaskans must be able to participate in the resource decisions impacting their communities and livelihoods, and the most important step any Alaskan can take to participate in decision-making is to VOTE.

This cycle, The Alaska Center supported an array of Republican, Democrat, and Independent candidates who share our values. We invested in key Alaska House races across the state, with more than $90,000 spent in our top tier races, in primary and general elections combined.

The Alaska Center focused our electoral work on State House races that provided the greatest opportunity to elect candidates who will stand up for our clean air and water, healthy communities, and a strong democracy.

The bedrock of our strategy was increasing voter turnout. We prioritized direct voter contact this cycle, as we know it is the most impactful way to increase turnout – which is the deciding factor in election outcomes. We promoted early voting and vote by mail in our communities and in the media, and piloted social pressure mail pieces to remind people to vote.

The Alaska Center provided support to elect:

  • Harriet Drummond to the State House
  • Matt Claman to the State House
  • Adam Wool to the State House
  • Ivy Spohnholz  to the State House
  • Jason Grenn to the the State House
  • Dan Ortiz to the State House

Unfortunately, two of our priority races were not successful. The Alaska Center also supported both Harry Crawford (House) and Vince Beltrami (Senate), who lost by a few hundred votes to the incumbents.

In addition to our engagement on these elections, The Alaska Center invested in promoting the passage of Ballot Measure 1 to establish automatic voter registration. This unprecedented measure will remove the barriers to voting access that many people face in our state and potentially bring up to 70,000 people into the electorate!

These victories add to our support of successful candidates in the primary election as well – DeLena Johnson, Paul Seaton, Zach Fansler, Dean Westlake, and Tom Begich.

Thank you again for helping us make state history this year, and for your investment in our work to chart a more positive path forward for Alaska!

2016 Endorsed Candidates

Out of our 25 endorsed candidates, we’re please to announce that these 21 were elected last night:

State House

  • House District 1: Scott Kawasaki
  • House District 4: David Guttenberg
  • House District 5: Adam Wool
  • House District 11: DeLena Johnson
  • House District 16: Ivy Spohnholz
  • House District 17: Andy Josephson
  • House District 18: Harriet Drummond
  • House District 19: Geran Tarr
  • House District 20: Les Gara
  • House District 21: Matt Claman
  • House District 22: Jason Grenn
  • House District 23: Chris Tuck
  • House District 31: Paul Seaton
  • House District 33: Sam Kito
  • House District 35: Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
  • House District 36: Dan Ortiz
  • House District 38: Zach Fansler
  • House District 40: Dean Westlake

State Senate

  • Senate District H: Bill Wielechowski
  • Senate District J: Tom Begich


Endorsed Candidates: General Election

House District 5: Adam Wool (D)wool-fb-persuasion

Alaska is being hit hard by the fiscal crisis, and Fairbanks will feel the pinch even more than other areas of the State. Adam knows Fairbanks and its unique situation better than anyone. He has fought to help preserve the local economy by protecting funding for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


House District 16: Ivy Spohnholz (D)spohnholz-fb-persuasion

Ivy Spohnholz is dedicated to her East Anchorage community, and she knows that future generations depend on us to make decisions that will ensure Alaska is a prosperous place to live for decades. That includes preserving our abundant natural resources and promoting healthy communities


House District 18: Harriet Drummond (D)drummond-fb-persuasion

Juneau’s fiscal crisis threatens our community with cuts to public safety, schools and the basic services that make Anchorage a great place to live. Harriet fights for responsible fiscal solutions that ensure we have a safe and healthy community.



House District 21: Matt Claman (D)claman-fb-persuasion

Matt Claman values conservation and he has been a staunch opponent of megaprojects like the Susitna Dam. He continues to be a strong ally for the conservation voter movement, and he is committed to a safe and healthy West Anchorage.


House District 22: Jason Grenn (I)grenn-fb-persuasion

As someone who grew up in the district and graduated from Dimond High School, Jason Grenn understands the importance of bringing proactive solutions to solve Alaska’s fiscal crisis. Jason is an Independent dedicated to going beyond partisanship to find solutions that ensure we have a healthy and vibrant community.


House District 27: Harry Crawford (D)crawford-fb-persuasion

Harry is a community leader with a history of bucking the establishment and fighting for common sense solutions that create jobs, protect our community and create a more sustainable economic future for Alaska. His leadership will help East Anchorage and all of Alaska move past our current fiscal dilemma.


House District 36: Dan Ortiz (I)ortiz-fb-persuasion

Dan Ortiz is not bound by party politics. His allegiance is Southeast Alaska — not a political party. Dan will continue to fight to help shore up local industrics and create new economic opportunity for our region. He will fight to improve the Alaska Marine Highway System and will make responsible decisions for our state’s fiscal future.

Senate District B: Luke Hopkins

Luke Hopkins is a long-time public servant whose dedication to Fairbanks has helped strengthen our Interior community. As Borough Mayor, Hopkins balanced the budget and kept tax rates low. Luke Hopkins is ready to take that fiscal responsibility to Juneau and help our state out of the fiscal crisis.

Senate District N: Vince Beltrami (I)

Vince Beltrami knows the value of hard work, and he will work hard for the people of East Anchorage. If elected, he will fight for Alaska’s future by strengthening schools and putting people back to work.

Endorsed Candidates: Primary Election

House District 11: DeLena Johnson (R)

DeLena Johnson has proven during her time as Mayor of Palmer that she is a true leader who will stand up for the Matanuska Valley. If elected to State House, she will head to Juneau to protect access to hunting and fishing and to make smart cuts to our state’s unsustainable spending.

House District 31: Paul Seaton (R)

Paul Seaton is an outspoken conservation champion who stands up for Kenai Peninsula communities. If we re-elect him to represent us in Juneau, he will fight for safer and healthier communities — by making smart cuts to public spending while preserving essential services like education and fisheries management.

House District 38: Zach Fansler (D)

Zach Fansler will stand up for the future of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. He will fight for safer and healthier communities — with affordable healthcare for all Alaskans. He will work to lower energy costs by investing in the region’s renewable energy resources.

House District 40: Dean Westlake (D)

Dean Westlake is a leader who will put Arctic communities first.  He is a clean energy champion who will work to make life in northern communities more affordable — with lower energy costs and a full permanent fund dividend check.

Senate District J: Tom Begich (D)

Tom Begich will stand up for our Anchorage community, by fighting to make downtown and the East Side both safer and healthier. He will work to promote a justice system that ensures public safety and gives fair treatment to all Alaskans, and he supports developing our state’s vast renewable energy resources.


Paid for and approved by The Alaska Center, 921 W 6th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, Alaska 99501. John Duffy, Chair. The top contributors to The Alaska Center are League of Conservation Voters (Washington DC), Clay Frick (Haines, AK), and Ben Hammett (Palo Alto, CA). This notice to voters is required by Alaska law: We certify that this literature is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.