Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Board Approves Senate Pairings

Continued from the previous post on the Monday afternoon session.  NOTE: All the district numbers they used are subject to change as they try to make the numbers go in some sort of sequential order around the state.

2.  They made their Senate pairings (that is they decided which house districts were to be paired as Senate districts.

Southeast Senate Districts:
Double click to enlarge
Districts 3 and 4.  They decided it made sense that the two districts that have Juneau in them should be one Senate district.   So districts 3 and 4 (I think 3 is downtown Juneau and south of Juneau and 4 is the Mendenhall Glacier area and north.) {Egan}

Districts 1 and 2.  With Juneau paired, you have only one other pairing left.  They mentioned that this pairs incumbent  Senators Kookesh (D) and Stedman (R), but this is unavoidable because they had already put them in the same House district.

Fairbanks Senate Districts

Board member Holm:
It's a little better if you click on it
7&9 {Pairs Democrats Paskvan and Thomas}
8&12  {empty?}
10&11 {Coghill}

From my written notes:
Holm: Overwhelming reason for two pairings: 10&11 both have military contingent
7 goes out to Bush area, a little different from 9, but fits together well - people in Farmers’ Loop area.
8 really doesn’t have any connection with anyone down the valley, so it makes sense to put it with 12 - (the Valdez district)
Adding 2500 people to Fairbanks changes things. Used to be split.
Still have five districts - 8 connected to 12
Doubles up Thomas, I think, is in seven. Not sure where 8 goes. I think Paskvan is in 9
Coghill is in 11, nobody in 10.
No one in house district 8. Whose the Sen from Delta?
Torgerson: Coghill - 12 and 8 will be a new Senator.
Essentially, two truncated. How did that work.
Torgerson: I’ll point out, 12 is the Valdez district. A little outside of Fairbanks.
Holm: They’ve been paired for a long time.
Brody: We voted not to consider Senators in our discussion. What are the plus and minuses of having a vacant district or each one having a district. [No one picked up this discussion.]
5-0 yes adopted.

Double click to enlarge
Matsu Senate Districts
Torgerson:  Testimony was to put Wasilla and Palmer separate.
15 goes with Anchorage 19 - split district with Anchorage
14&17 - Palmer to rural Matsu
13&16 - Wasilla/Big Lake/Pt. McKenzie
If they want to be separate - overwhelmingly. 
Brody:  Bothers me with the odd numbers above and below Anchorage.  Rational way to hook odd number of Kenai to Matsu?
Torgerson: If rational no.  If a way?  yes.

I'm not sure how this affects incumbent Senators. [Update June 7:  Phil Munger in a comment below says Menard is in 17 and Huggins is in 14.]

Kenai Senate Districts
I'm not completely sure about the Kenai districts.  The maps aren't too helpful.
5 and 6  are paired.  I believe this is Kenai and Soldotna going on down to Homer. {Wagoner}
34 (North Kenai Peninsula and the road all the way to Seward) & 33 (South Anchorage) {Giesel}
I don't know how this affects incumbents.

Anchorage Senate Districts

My understanding is that Chair Torgerson worked on these with the staff.  Using AFFR's map with Anchorage incumbent locations, I'm guessing at the incumbents in each district.  Don't bet on the incumbents, that's speculation.

  • 21/18 Majority of Muldoon with Eagle River (dark green) {Davis - ER possibly Dyson?UPDATE: No, I'm told there is no pairing here, just Davis.}
    Click to enlarge - names are community councils
  • 20/23 - Russian Jack/ Elmendorf  (yellow) {Wielechoski?}
  • 22/32 (Abbot Loop Mid Hillside, Huffman/O’Malley (puke green) {Meyer?}
  • 24/25 - downtown (blue){Ellis}
  • 26/27 Midtown/UMed/Campbell Park (Brown){empty?}
  • 28/29 SandLake/Lake Turnagain (pinkish - north and south of the airport){ French?}
  • 31/30Taku and Bayshore/Klatt (burnt orangish){McGuire?}
  • 33/34 (Hillside-South Anchorage/Kenai Peninsula to Seward) {Giesel}

Native Senate Districts 

39/40 Nome/North Slope {Olson}
37/38  Aleutians West-Bethel/Wade Hampton-Matsu-Denali-Fairbanks {Hoffman}
35/36  Kodiak/Bethel-Dillingham {Stevens}

Here's some speculation on the Senate incumbents who I think are paired:

Southeast:  This one appears unavoidable, at least given the House districts they created. Stedman and Kookesh live in the same district - though people say that Stedman has two houses each in a different district.  With the loss of a House district, this is hard.  Since Kookesh is Native, it may raise issues with the Department of Justice.

Fairbanks:  They've paired two Democratic Senators while there is a vacant Senate seat nearby.  Seems they could have figured a way to work this out if they had wanted to.

Anchorage:  Bettye Davis, a Democrat and the only African-American in the Legislature has been paired with the Eagle River district.  [UPDATE June 7:  I've promoted Stoltz from the House to the Senate - sorry, it was late last night when I finished this - and I was told today that Dyson lives the current 19, so there was no pairing of Sen. Bettye Davis with another incumbent] in I don't know where the Eagle River/Chugiak Senators live, but since Tom Stoltz is from Chugiak, I'm guessing he's in the district paired with Matsu and that Davis is paired with Fred Dyson (R.)  Eagle River has been a pretty safe Republican area.  There is an open Senate district not far from Davis' Anchorage district, though the lines would have had to have been drawn differently to make them contiguous.  I'm assuming the two Eagle River districts were not paired because each has a Republican Senator. 

A lot of Republicans would like to see an end to the even split in the Senate that has led to a coalition majority there.  (For that matter Democrats would too, but the other way.)  These Senate pairings would seem to make it a little harder for Democrats to maintain their ten seats.


  1. Re the valley - Menard lives in what would be 17 - on Memory Lake. I've been moved to 17. Huggins lives in what would now be 14, I believe. I could almost throw a rock from where I now live to districts 12, 13 and 14 - strange intersection.

  2. Phil, at one point, if I remember correctly, 12, 13, 14, and 17 all touched at one intersection. 12 (as of today it is now District 6) goes to the Richardson Highway to Fairbanks and Valdez as well as Matsu.

  3. I've been raving about your coverage of this since the beginning, but it just gets better, more authoritative, and - more understanding. Best political blog series in Alaska history, Steve.


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