Points By Drew Pritt

Could this be Alaska’s New Governor?
June 23, 2008, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Imagine this scenario if you will. In Alaska, on August 26th, Lt. Governor Sean Parnell (R) rides the wave of discontent sweeping the nation and ousts embattled incumbent Congressman Don Young (R) which is a viable option. Around this same time, Senator John McCain has determined he wants to pick Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate. Should Parnell defeat the Democratic nominee in the fall and if a McCain-Palin ticket is successful in the fall then Alaska would get a new Governor.

Who would it be….at least for the next two years? Retiring State Senate President Lyda Green (R) who is tied to the old guard in Alaska that Palin-Parnell ousted with much aplomb in 2006. Not to doubt the strengths of Ethan Berkowitz or Diane Benson in their Congressional bids or that of Senator Barack Obama nationally but in all honesty this is a very viable and plausible situation that would arise.

For many unaware in the lower 48, there has been a virtual partisan revolution in Alaska, going on since 2004 when then-Governor Frank Murkowski (R) appointed his daughter, Lisa, to his vacant U.S. Senate seat. Alaskans sense of anger still may have allowed Palin to oust the elder Murkowski but wasn’t great enough to elect Tony Knowles, a popular former Governor, initially over the younger Murkowski to the U.S. Senate.

Green and Palin have publicly fought frequently, even to the point where Green threatened to keep the Legislature in Session, to prevent Palin from attending her son’s gradutation from U.S. Army Basic Training.

Green has announced her retirement but it’s an election year. The way everything comes together it now must be determined which is the greatest loss? Palin would surely be an asset to a McCain ticket. Parnell may be the only Republican who could hold the Republicans a House seat they are very not nearly going to hold onto if they lose anytime soon. If Green succeeds, as Governor, she would serve for at least two years and her presence would certainly scuttle the reform movement in Alaska.

During the Presidential primaries it was said for the Democrats that there was a Solomon’s Baby like riddle in having to choose between a qualified woman or a qualified African-American for their nominee for President. It appears for Republicans in Alaska at least, they have their own Solomonic riddle.


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