Alaska’s Republican Senate Majority Leader’s political evolution to ranked choice voting

July 18, 2023

Cathy Giessel was elected to the Alaska Senate in 2011 as a Republican, served as the Senate President from 2018-2020, lost in the closed Republican primary in 2020, won in an open primary in 2022 and is the Alaska Senate Majority Leader today.

Her story:

“When we became more divisive, and I am referring to my own Republican party, I began to be considered not Republican enough because I was willing to work with People regardless of what their party affiliation was….When the 2020 election came around the party itself didn’t consider me Republican enough.  And so in that closed primary I lost substantially….Then we went to the top 4 primary and in that I changed completely how I campaigned and I ended up winning primary and then the general election.” (video segment 9:10-11:20)

Watch the complete interview at

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