Rep. Gary Knopp announces withdraw from Republican caucus, pushing bipartisan coalition

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - In an effort to make the State House what he considers to be "more effective," Representative Gary Knopp announced his withdrawal from the Republican caucus, and is pushing for a bipartisan coalition.

The legislative session convenes on January 15, and State House District 1 still does not have a confirmed representative. The Alaska Supreme Court will examine challenged ballots to determine the race between Kathryn Dodge and Bart LeBon, in which LeBon has a one vote lead. This race was thought to determine control of the house, but with Knopp removing himself from the caucus, the Republican Party no longer has an organized majority.

"If Ms. Dodge does pull it off,we truly do end up with a 20-20. I made it really clear that I'm not abandoning my values and my principles, and I'm not really abandoning my party; I'm trying to save it. I'm trying to make us a functional house, and one that will perform. I think this is how it has to happen. I just got to believe that at the end of the day, we will end up with a coalition. I just don't think there's any way that you can go forward and not have one," Knopp said.