Alaska House ends month-long standoff, elects speaker

Associated Press
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.