NEWS: Independent State Representative Dan Ortiz Joins the House Democratic Caucus

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Joins Representatives Matt Claman and Adam Wool as New Members of the Caucus


NOVEMBER 19, 2014

Anchorage- Newly elected District 36 State Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) was welcomed Wednesday as the newest member of the House Democratic Caucus. Ortiz ran as an independent candidate without party affiliation but he chose to join the House Democratic Caucus in part because of the freedom the caucus gives its members to vote their conscience. 

“Joining the House Democratic Caucus is the right decision for District 33,” said Rep. Ortiz. “Unlike the House Majority, the House Democratic Caucus does not bind its members to vote a certain way and as an independent member of the Legislature that’s important to me and the voters who chose to send me to Juneau. I will not be bound by party distinctions and pledge to work in a bi-partisan manner with all members of the Legislature and the new administration of Governor Elect Bill Walker.”

The addition of Rep. Ortiz means the House Democratic Caucus now numbers 13-members. Other new members of the Caucus include District 21 Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) and District 5 Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks). The House Democratic Caucus will be led by Minority Leader Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) during the 29th Alaska Legislature.

“Rep. Ortiz’s experience as a classroom teacher will be of great value to our caucus as we work to address a growing list of challenges facing the State of Alaska including how best to fund and improve our vital public education system,” said Rep. Tuck. “I believe the addition of Representatives Claman, Wool and Ortiz will bring new life and energy to our Caucus as we work with the administration to set a new path forward for Alaska.”

Rep. Ortiz joined the other members of the House Democratic Caucus for a meeting Wednesday where they finalized committee assignments for the 29th Alaska Legislature, which begins on January 20th. The Minority members of the standing committees are below.

Judiciary – Rep. Gruenberg, Rep. Claman

Rules – Rep. Tuck, Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins

Education – Rep. Drummond, Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins

State Affairs – Rep. Gruenberg, Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins

Resources – Rep. Tarr, Rep. Josephson

Community and Regional Affairs – Rep. Drummond, Rep. Ortiz

Health & Social Services – Rep. Tarr, Rep. Wool

Labor & Commerce – Rep. Josephson, Rep. Kito III

Transportation – Rep. Ortiz, Rep. Claman

Economic Development, Trade & Tourism – Rep. Ortiz, Rep. Wool

Fisheries – Rep. Ortiz, Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins

Energy – Rep. Wool, Rep. Claman

Military & Veterans Affairs – Rep. Tuck, Rep. Gruenberg

Legislative Council – Rep. Kito III

Ethics – Rep. Tuck, Rep. Josephson

Joint Armed Services – Rep. Tarr

Leg. Budget & Audit – Rep. Kito III, Rep. Josephson

Arctic Policy Commission – Rep. Guttenberg


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