Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, and Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy, sit next to each other after Knopp voted not to confirm Talerico as Speaker of the House on Tuesday. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, and Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy, sit next to each other after Knopp voted not to confirm Talerico as Speaker of the House on Tuesday. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Knopp censured by Alaska Republican Party

Knopp will no longer receive any official support from the Alaska Republican Party

Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai/Soldotna, faced an official censure last Friday from the Alaska Republican Party State Central Committee for his role in forming a majority coalition with Democratic representatives at the beginning of this year’s legislative session.

Glenn Clary, chairman of the State Central Committee, said that the censure will have three major consequences for Knopp: Knopp will no longer receive any official support — financial or otherwise — from the Alaska Republican Party; a primary challenger to Knopp will be supported by the party and Knopp will be prohibited from participating in any official Alaska Republican Party activities.

As of now, two people have already filed as primary challengers against Knopp, who is up for re-election in 2020: Ron Gillham, who previously ran against Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, in the last election cycle, and former Rep. Kelly Wolf. Clary said that the Alaska Republican Party has not yet endorsed either of these candidates.

The motion for censure was made during Friday’s Republican Party committee meeting in Kenai by Jason Floyd, a member of the District 30 Republicans and a constituent of Knopp. According to the language in the motion, Knopp “engaged in actions detrimental to Alaska Republicans or to Republican values and goals.”

The motion cited Knopp’s vote against the Republican House Majority, his vote against Republican House Speaker candidate Dave Talerico, R-Healy — which prevented the House from organizing with a Republican majority — and Knopp’s public statement that he would rather organize with a select group of Republicans and Democrats than with 21 Republicans.

The censure was passed unanimously. Knopp was also in attendance during the meeting.

Knopp has had to justify his actions to constituents repeatedly throughout this year’s legislative session. In the first 30 days of the regular legislative session, Knopp refused to vote for a Republican Speaker of the House, and said during a town hall held in Soldotna on Feb. 15 that he did so because he didn’t feel that a 21-person Republican Majority would be a strong enough coalition to get things done during session.

Knopp has said that his primary goal has always been getting a budget passed, but even with the bipartisan majority coalition that Knopp helped form, the House was unable to pass a budget during regular session and was forced to go into an extended session to deal with that and several other issues including crime, education and the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.

Clary said that the topic of censure was initially brought up within the State Central Committee back in January, during the fight over organization in the House, but the issue was tabled at that time.

Knopp did not return phone calls by press time.

Reach Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion 
                                The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1.
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

Homer Farmers Market: Farmers offer stability in times of uncertainty

In a time of uncertainty, it certainly is nice to know where… Continue reading

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

An increase last month in positive COVID-19 cases on the lower Kenai… Continue reading

Peonies cover a table, ready to receive people at a field to vase dinner tour hosted by Certified American Grown Flowers on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer Peony Celebration begins this week

With many large or indoor events canceled this year due to the… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
9 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

The central Kenai Peninsula saw growth in the number of new COVID-19… Continue reading

The Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly overrides mayoral veto of hybrid election system ordinance

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Independence Day parade organized after official event gets canceled

The continued spread of COVID-19 across Alaska prompted many official organizations and… Continue reading

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

Members of the Homer City Council interview candidate Rob Dumouchel for the job of city manager on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. Top row from left to right: Council member Joey Evensen, Mayor Ken Castner, Council member Heath Smith. Middle row from left to right: Council members Donna Aderhold, Rachel Lord and Storm Hansen-Cavasos. Bottom row from left to right: Candidate Rob Dumouchel and Council member Caroline Venuti.
Council offers city manager job to California candidate

The Homer City Council voted last week to offer the job of… Continue reading

Most Read