Alaska’s 3 GOP electoral college members vote for Trump

  • By Becky Bohrer
  • Monday, December 19, 2016 10:33pm
  • News

JUNEAU — Alaska’s three Republican electors cast their votes for President-elect Donald Trump on Monday, honoring pledges they had made to support their party’s nominee while barraged with pleas to change their position.

Trump won Alaska, beating Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 47,000 votes in last month’s general election. That meant Alaska’s three electoral votes were to be cast by the three Republican electors chosen to represent their party: former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, Carolyn Leman and Jacqueline Tupou.

In an interview earlier this month, Tupou, who wrote in Evan McMullin as her choice for president in the general election, said there are things about Trump that scare her. But she said she didn’t see a palatable alternative.

On Monday, Tupou said she hopes this will be a “great America going forward,” where liberties continue to be protected by the constitution and people can live the American dream. “So, let us ever be vigilant,” she said.

State law requires political parties to secure a pledge from each of their electors to support their parties’ nominees and for electors to cast their votes for their parties’ candidates. In this case, that meant the Republican electors were to be committed to Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

The law does not include any penalty for electors who might not adhere that pledge.

Alaska’s electors had been among the Republicans nationally who were inundated with pleas to not vote for Trump.

“But for thousands of people to ask me to violate the laws of our state, that was just something I was not going to do,” Parnell said.

When asked what he would tell people worried about a Trump presidency, Parnell said he would urge them to “trust the republic. Trust the body of laws and the people who must enforce those laws from a constitutional perspective.”

Small groups of protesters gathered Monday morning in front of the state Capitol and outside the state library, archives and museum building where the electoral college ceremony was held. At one point during the ceremony, one man, Dennis Harris, quietly held up a pink sign that read: “Don’t Let Putin Win!”

Harris told reporters he was exercising his First Amendment right.

Kathy Miller, one of four women who showed up at the Capitol, said she wanted to stand for the values she feels are important, such as inclusion and support for everyone. Nothing she has heard from Trump “has given me any reason to respect or trust what he is going to do,” she said.

Jerry Ward, who was the Trump campaign’s Alaska director and is with the Trump transition team, said Alaska has a bright future under Trump. He said the president-elect is counting on Alaska to make the U.S. energy independent.

More in News

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Former Homer High School athletic director poses on Friday, July 1, 2022, at the high school athletic field in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Work ethic, grit and teamwork

After two decades, Homer athletic director says goodbye to program he helped build

Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Another renewable energy company seeks to set up peninsula solar farm

Utopian Power wants to build a two-megawatt solar farm on a 40-acre chunk of land owned by the borough

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations up from last week

Hospitalization data is the most effective indicator of the prevalence of the virus

Most Read