Today (Nov. 10th, 2018), Governor-elect Mike Dunleavy announced additional transition team members.
● Co-chair of Inaugural Celebrations: Cynthia Henry of Fairbanks
● Co-chair of Inaugural Celebrations: Rina Salazar of Anchorage
Governor-elect Dunleavy said, “Alaskans are guaranteed to enjoy fun and engaging inaugural celebrations with Cynthia and Rina taking the lead. Their skills in logistics and event management will result in well-planned, well-organized events.”
Cynthia Henry is a retail business owner who serves as Alaska National Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee. Cynthia has served in elected positions on the Fairbanks School Board and Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, and more recently, served eight years on the Board of Regents for the University of Alaska.
Rina Salazar has spent a lifetime organizing events for organizations like a Filipino civic organization, Operation Christmas Child, Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), and many more. Growing up in the Filipino community and organizing parties and banquets has taught her the fundamentals of creating successful events. Most recently, Salazar was the events coordinator for the Dunleavy campaign.
Governor-elect Dunleavy also announced that Noorvik, Alaska, will be the location of his swearing in ceremony on December 3. Noorvik is a small village located on the Kobuk River, about 30 miles downriver from the southern border of Kobuk Valley National Park. It is 42 air miles from Kotzebue, and part of the NANA region. Most Noorvik residents, including Dunleavy’s wife Rose, are Inupiaq. Rose Dunleavy grew up in Noorvik, and members of the first family’s extended family live there.
The decision to hold the swearing in ceremony in Noorvik was made by the governorelect himself, in an effort to honor and recognize residents of rural Alaska, whom he called neighbors for almost 20 years.
On December 4, the official Inaugural Celebration will be held in Wasilla, the current home of Governor-elect Dunleavy and his family. Additional dates for community celebrations across the state will be announced as the co-chairs confirm details.
Sarah Erkmann Ward
Here’s our quick take on what transpired yesterday (Nov. 7th, 2018):
Alaskans still favor Don Young. More than 54% of them voted for him despite a well-funded opponent who wasn’t at all bashful about leaning far to the left. Congressman Young hasn’t charged the hill on our issues but he’s been a solid thumbs up any time life, liberty and issues important to the faith community have arisen.
Losing the House to the Democrats certainly will throw monkey wrenches into what has been a well-oiled machine of economic growth for our country through less regulatory burdens and tax breaks that have helped families. On the bright side, if Speaker Pelosi and her cast of characters spend the next two years focused on impeachment proceedings and Presidential harassment with a “take down Trump at all costs” agenda, the 2020 elections might just turn out better than what we experienced this cycle.
Remember, despite raging, all-consuming negative coverage of Trump by the media since day one, Americans after last night now have a stronger, pro-family majority in the U.S. Senate. That means confirmations of judges will no longer have to go through Senator Murkowski and Senator Collins. Ultimately, the issue of our lifetime, abortion, is now a bit closer to coming back to the states where it rightly belongs.
Dunleavy Takes The Reigns
Since 2006 when Alaska Family Council/Action began “working the cultural fields” in our Great Land, we’ve never been more enthused to have someone in the Governor’s house as we are with Mike Dunleavy. I’ve had the pleasure of calling him a friend since he first put his hat in the political ring and he is absolutely the real deal.
His keen political sense, deep-rooted convictions and laser focus on why he is in public office are traits that pro-family Alaskans can be very confident in.
The next few years will hopefully and prayerfully demonstrate what a state can look like when the top executive places a priority on issues of life, parental rights, religious liberty. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and show how public policy can transform culture.
Senate Teetering and a House Taken Back
With incumbent Fairbanks State Senator and strong AFA ally Pete Kelly holding on to a razor-thin, eleven (11) vote lead, we remain cautiously optimistic that the Alaska Senate will remain in the hands of pro-family, pro-life conservatives. Alternately, if Scott Kawasaki leap frogs Kelly with the remaining uncounted votes, our legislative agenda becomes much more challenging. Lots of scenarios are being bantered about right now behind closed doors as to leadership dynamics in the Senate. Every scenario hinges on whether Pete Kelly can remain in office. For the sake of family, faith and freedom, please pray Kelly hangs on.
Last night, 18 candidates for public office were elected who completed our Values Voter Guide and received ‘A’ grades from Alaska Family Action. That is more than any other time in our organizational history and it is worth pausing to be grateful for. Many other candidates who were elected, who chose not to fill out our survey, are nonetheless strong supporters of our issues and we look forward to working with them.
Because of a few key seats taken back, Republicans regained the Majority in the House. This was an absolute priority for Alaska Family Action as we spent nearly all our time in recent legislative sessions blocking bad bills in this chamber. Now it’s time to advance some good stuff with a friendly Governor working in unison.
Sarah Vance, an AFA ‘A’ Grade candidate from Homer, took out long-time liberal Paul Seaton and in Anchorage, Sara Rasmussen, another AFA ‘A’ Grade candidate upset Jason Grenn, a no-party candidate who had caucused with the Democrats. Finally, in Fairbanks, Bart LeBon captured Scott Kawasaki’s former House seat. Although LeBon didn’t fill out our survey, his strong campaigning helped Republicans regain control. We look forward to sitting down with Representative LeBon and identifying mutual concerns and interests for our Great Land.
In closing, we would be remiss in not mentioning some very tough election night losses. Ceezar Martinson, an AFA Board member, opened up a lot of doors and minds with his young, bright intellect and a solid first time effort in liberal downtown Anchorage. Marilyn Stewart, Marcus Sanders, Stanley Wright and Connie Dougherty, all from Anchorage, each ran noteworthy campaigns but ultimately fell short. Our admiration and encouragement go out to each of them whose passion and hard work enhanced the campaign season greatly.
First time candidates Jim Sackett in Fairbanks and Trevor Shaw in Ketchikan, also AFA ‘A’ grade candidates showed great determination and potential in difficult ‘purple’ districts. Our hope is that both think of this as a stepping stone to eventual public office.
Ultimately, pro-family Alaskans should be exuberant about the opportunities dished up last night by the electorate. After a short moment to catch our breath, Alaska Family Action is poised and anxious to lean in and move our state closer to a place where families thrive, religious freedom flourishes, life is cherished and God is honored.
Your support, as always, had a tremendous impact. We are encouraged and honored to voice your values.
Standing for families…in His name.
Jim Minnery, President
Alaska Family Action