The state Senate’s expanding majority became a bipartisan body Friday, as Democratic Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan -- the only state legislator not on the ballot in Tuesday’s elections -- joined all 13 Republican senators as its latest member.
“Senator Egan has a very diverse background and a long family legacy that will enhance our ability to represent the interests of all Alaskans,” Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) said in a Friday statement from the majority. “Senator Egan, as Transportation Chair, will be able to use his expertise to improve transportation in all corners of the state including the Alaska Marine Highway System.”
Egan's addition brings the group closer to a 16-vote supermajority in the 20-seat Senate, as Republicans continue to hope for a victory by GOP challenger Bob Bell over Democrat Sen. Hollis French. French retains a slight lead in that race, however, with absentee votes still being counted.
The majority began as a body of 11 Republicans Wednesday night, replacing the Senate’s previous bipartisan coalition, but Sens. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) and Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) joined the group Thursday. Members have said that working with Gov. Sean Parnell on oil tax reform is a high priority for the majority.
Editor's note: Details on the possibility of a Senate supermajority have been revised to state that the threshold is 16 seats, not 14 as originally reported.
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