Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, left, speaks during a March 2016 meeting of the House Finance Committee. Gattis, who lost her bid for the Alaska Senate later that year, is running for lieutenant governor. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, left, speaks during a March 2016 meeting of the House Finance Committee. Gattis, who lost her bid for the Alaska Senate later that year, is running for lieutenant governor. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Second Republican enters race for lieutenant governor

A second Republican has joined the race for lieutenant governor.

On Thursday, former Rep. Lynn Gattis filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, allowing her to begin fundraising. Gattis joins current state Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, in seeking the lieutenant governor’s office.

Current Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has also said he will seek re-election.

Reached by phone at her home in Wasilla, Gattis said “lieutenant governor is a place that I think Alaska has not utilized like I think we could have.”

She said the lieutenant governor could be an ambassador for the state, promoting its benefits to industry. Gattis, who has decades of experience in aviation and is a licensed pilot, sees Alaska as a crossroads, not just for aviation, but for shipping.

“We need to diversify our economy,” she said.

If elected, she said election reform laws would be one of her top priorities.

“That’s one of the things the lieutenant governor does do,” she said.

She referenced problems revealed in a 2016 lawsuit over the results of the election to represent House District 40 and the age of the state’s election equipment.

Current Lt. Gov. Mallott has organized the creation of an elections working group to address some of those problems, but implementation of any suggested solutions will come after the 2018 election.

Before that election, Gattis said she will be campaigning across the state, flying from place to place.

“I love meeting people, I love listening,” she said.

Gattis, though born in California, was raised in Alaska and has lived in Anchorage, Gulkana, Cordova, Anchorage, Dillingham and Wasilla.

She has two children and was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 2012. She was re-elected in 2014 but in 2016 decided to run for Alaska Senate instead.

In that race, she was defeated by underdog challenger David Wilson.

“Sometimes, losing races, there’s a silver lining,” she said, adding that the defeat allowed her to lease out her farm and “clear the decks” to run for lieutenant governor.

While in the Legislature, Gattis took fiscally and socially conservative positions. In the 2016 session, she argued that further budget cuts are needed before the state increases taxes or spends from the Permanent Fund.

In the same year, she introduced a bill that would have restricted Planned Parenthood from teaching sexual education classes in Alaska schools. That bill failed to pass.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 29

Bus drivers picket outside the bus barn in Wasilla, Alaska on Jan. 26, 2023. Bus drivers in Alaska’s second-largest school district have gone on strike after delivering students to classes on Tuesday,  Jan. 31, citing unfair labor practices. (Loren Holmes / Anchorage Daily News)
Mat-Su school bus drivers strike

ANCHORAGE — Bus drivers in Alaska’s second-largest school district went on strike… Continue reading

The Juneau School District’s recently announced its new directors of teaching and learning support and student services who are set to start in their positions in July. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
District selects new directors for teaching and learning support and student services

The new directors will take over their roles in the district in July.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

The final Boeing 747 lands at Paine Field following a test flight, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Everett, Wash. Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, when it delivers the jumbo jet to cargo carrier Atlas Air. Since it debuted in 1969, the 747 has served as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, and the Air Force One presidential aircraft, but it has been rendered obsolete by more profitable and fuel-efficient models. (Jennifer Buchanan / The Seattle Times)
Boeing bids farewell to an icon, delivers last 747 jumbo jet

SEATTLE — Boeing bid farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It’s delivering… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

President Joe Biden talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, after returning from an event in Baltimore on infrastructure. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)
Biden to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

The move would formally restructure the federal coronavirus response.

Carla Casulucan, shareholder relations manager for Huna Totem Corp., gives public testimony Monday night in support of the Huna Totem development and urged the city to vote against an ordinance that would have allowed the city to spend $300,000 to help plan the location of a proposed cruise ship dock at the downtown subport. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
City decides against spending on cruise ship dock planning

Assembly votes down ordinance after more than a dozen public comments against it.

Most Read