Alaska Legislature gains 5 women after general election

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - As a record-breaking number of women are elected into the U.S. House of Representatives, on the state level, Alaska also picked up several new female leaders.

While the state Senate will see two new lady lawmakers in the Capitol, Democrat Elvi Gray-Jackson and Republican Lora Reinbold, the duo will not change the number of women represented in the Alaska Senate because they're replacing other women. But when it comes to the House of Representatives, it's a different story.

Based on the latest election results, Alaska is looking at the addition of six women to the State House. However, it's an overall gain of just five, because of the loss of minority leader, Rep. Charisse Millett, who lost in the primary election earlier this year.

For the 2017 - 2018 30th State Legislature, women accounted for about 30 percent of the governing body.

Between both the House and Senate, there were 19 women. The Associated Press previously reported that was the highest number of women who have served in any one Legislature since Alaska became a state in 1959, according to legislative research services.

Earlier this year, an activist with Alaska Women Ascend, a non-profit encouraging and preparing women to run for office, told KTUU that female lawmakers have the ability to break through barriers.

The newly-elected House members set to represent the state are Nancy Dahlstrom, R - Palmer; Kelly Merrick, R- Eagle River; Sara Rasmussen, R - Anchorage; Sarah Vance, R-Homer; Sara Hannan, D-Juneau; and Andi Story, D-Juneau.

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