Rep. Neal Foster elected House Speaker pro tempore; Jackson sworn in
Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome, was elected Speaker pro tempore by a vote of the House Thursday afternoon, enabling some House business to proceed, the first order of which was the swearing in of Rep. Sharon Jackson to the House District 13 seat.
Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, was nominated for the post by Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy, but lost by a vote of 20-19.
Reps. George Rauscher, Mark Neuman, Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, and David Eastman — all Republicans — voted against Foster.
According the legislature's uniform rules, Foster's role as temporary presiding officer is limited to overseeing the nomination and voting process for a permanent House Speaker.
Those votes were delayed after an objection by Rep. Eastman, R-Wasilla, on the grounds that House District 13 would go without representation in the vote for a temporary House Speaker.
The first order of business was the confirmation of Sharon Jackson to the vacant District 13 House seat.
Rep. Jackson was officially sworn in by Foster on the House floor.
On Wednesday, a Facebook video showing Rep. Eastman and Rep. Josh Revak, R-Anchorage attending a purported swearing-in ceremony for Jackson at the Juneau courthouse conducted by a deputy clerk stirred minor controversy in the Capitol.
The unofficial ceremony was universally
on both sides of the aisle, including House Republican leadership.