The 2020 election cycle was unlike any we have ever encountered. Covid-19 upended how campaigns were conducted, how votes were cast, and how those elected will ultimately govern. Throughout 2020, your NEA-Alaska Political Action Committee on Education (PACE) convened several times to review and recommend pro-public education candidates to our members. PACE is an elected body of 30 NEA-Alaska members who vote to make official endorsements of political candidates based solely on their positions related to public education and collective bargaining rights.

This year, PACE members found new ways to ask direct questions and engage with political candidates. From Ketchikan to Kotzebue, NEA-Alaska members connected with candidates and invited their colleagues to join them on virtual town halls. This approach allowed more of our members to participate and meet the candidates for the Alaska State Legislature and the US House of Representatives and Senate.

zoom meeting

NEA-Alaska Board member Corey Shepherd of the Northwest Arctic Borough Education Association and Joel Antes President of the North Slope Borough Education Association co-hosted a members-only virtual town hall for Liz Ferguson. Ferguson was the NEA-Alaska PACE recommended candidate in House District 40.

NEA-Alaska members running for office

  • Retired NEA-Alaska member Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) was re-elected to represent State House District 36 that includes Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Wrangell and Hydaburg.
  • Retired NEA-Alaska member Representative Sara Hannan (D-Juneau) was re-elected to represent State House District 33 which includes Downtown Juneau, Skagway, Haines, Gustavus and Klukwan. 
  • NEA-Alaska staff member Representative Grier Hopkins was re-elected to represent State House District 4 in Fairbanks.
  • As of publication, former Anchorage Education Association President and Current ASD School Board member Andy Holleman is projected to have fallen short in his effort to represent an Anchorage State Senate District.
  • Mat-Su Education Association member Jamin Burton ran a spirited campaign with support from his Mat-Su colleagues but has been defeated in his run for a Valley State House seat. 

If you know or are an NEA-Alaska member or retired member elected to, running for, or considering a candidacy for elected office, please get in touch with NEA-Alaska staff member Matt Moser at


2020 General Election Outcomes

Due to how Alaska counts it’s ballots, the outcome of several legislative races remain unclear. Alaska will certify the results of the election on November 25. In the coming weeks, both the Alaska House and Senate will reorganize, meaning they will select their majority and minority caucuses, make committee assignments, and elect their leadership teams. NEA-Alaska will be monitoring this process closely and will ultimately work to build relationships with legislators regardless of political affiliation. Our goal remains to build strong support for public education and protect our schools from damaging cuts during this challenging time. As always, NEA-Alaska will update all members during the legislative session every Friday. 


Looking ahead to 2021 local races

Many communities will conduct local elections in 2021. Get in touch with your local association leadership to start a conversation about your local school board and city or borough governing bodies. NEA-Alaska members and local associations can have the most impact on the elections right in their own back yard. If your local association would like to have a conversation with NEA-Alaska about planning and strategizing for 2021, please have them get in touch with NEA NEA-Alaska staff member Matt Moser at