Hearing set in case challenging Alaska House candidate’s win

December 15, 2022 GMT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A hearing is set for next week in a case challenging the residency of an Anchorage Democrat who won a state House race last month.

Republican Liz Vazquez, who lost the District 16 race to Democrat Jennifer “Jennie” Armstrong, brought the case along with four others who made a previous challenge to Armstrong’s eligibility that was thrown out by a judge on procedural grounds.

Vazquez seeks to be declared the winner of the race. The new legislature convenes Jan. 17.

Scott Kendall, an attorney representing Armstrong, said the hearing, set for Dec. 22, will decide the merits of the case.

The lawsuit alleges that Armstrong is not qualified to be a member of the legislature, saying she “has not been a resident of the State of Alaska for at least three years immediately preceding her filing for office.” It points to a social media post it says was made by Armstrong, fishing license applications and when Armstrong registered to vote.

Armstrong “did not demonstrate the intent to remain in Alaska until at least June 7, 2019, but possibly later than June 23, 2019, and as late as August 26, 2019,” the lawsuit states. The candidate filing deadline was June 1.

Armstrong has said that Alaska “has been my home since May 2019.”