The Legislative Committee of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to endorse Lisa Murkowski as Candidate for the Office of United States Senator.
The Legislative Committee called for an immediate convening of the full AFN Board of Directors to ratify the Committee’s endorsement of Senator Murkowski’s write-in candidacy. Ratification of the endorsement would be followed by a vote by AFN’s full membership at the group’s upcoming annual Convention, October 21-23 in Fairbanks.
A proposed draft resolution on AFN’s endorsement of Senator Lisa Murkowski cited the Senator’s long-standing commitment to Alaska and all its people, and her vision for an exciting, growing state with expanding opportunities and a strong private sector and military among the Senator’s winning attributes. The Alaska Native community has benefited from her dedication and hard work, and has better access to health care, education, housing and jobs because of her. Her decorated record of policy achievements is also among the reasons for the group’s early endorsement.
“Given the fast pace of developments in this particular race, and its high-profile nature, the AFN Legislative Committee felt it appropriate to take immediate action to recommend endorsement of Senator Murkowski,” said AFN President Julie Kitka. “We look forward to an inclusive endorsement vote by the full AFN board and what is sure to be lively political discussion on the Convention floor.”
AFN has an established track record of endorsing candidates for office, including former Governor Tony Knowles, Congressman Don Young and the late Senator Ted Stevens.
The Alaska Federation of Natives was formed in October 1966, when more than 400 Alaska Natives representing 17 Native organizations gathered for a three-day conference to address Alaska Native aboriginal land rights. It is now the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Its membership includes 178 villages (both federally-recognized tribes and village corporations), 12 regional Native corporations and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and run federal and state programs. AFN is governed by a 37-member Board, which is elected by its membership at the annual convention held each October. The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community.