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We Build Alaska

Pagegate: House pages and assistant sergeant-at-arms walk out on the job

With just one day left in the legislative session, and after several days of marathon floor sessions, three House pages and the assistant sergeant-at-arms walked out on the job this afternoon.

Pages guard the doors during votes, pass out amendments to members, pass notes from legislators and staff to one another, enforce the gallery rules during floor sessions, and assist guests who want to watch floor sessions.

There were conflicting reasons as to why they quit. Several staff reported that they were upset about the transgender sports bill that was debated all day Saturday and some of Sunday. But the larger reason seems to be about the long hours they have had to work since last week.

Staff who walked out

One of the pages, Alyssa Nelson, responded to the original Landmine tweet saying the walkout was due to the long floor sessions over the last several days and not politics.

To cover for the missing pages and assistant sergeant-at-arms, several legislative staff were asked to fill in as temporary pages while the House continued to hear and debate a myriad of bills on their calendar. The constitutional session limit is tomorrow at midnight, and a lot remains to be done.

One of the fill-in pages was Cody Rice. Rice holds a masters degree in economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and worked at UBS as a data strategist and team leader. Rice currently works for House Speaker Cathy Tilton (R – Wasilla).

Another was Trevor Jepsen, who holds a bachelors degree in petroleum engineering from UAF. Jepsen works for Representative Tom McKay (R – Anchorage) and has been carrying energy and education bills this session.

And another was Sabina Braun, who works for Representative Justin Ruffridge (R – Soldotna).

Left to right: Rice, Braun, Jepsen

Christine Southall, the new head chef at in the legislative lounge (their food is amazing), was reactivated to temporarily serve as the assistant sergeant-at arms, a position she held last year. As of this writing she is still working on the House floor.

Several other legislative staff and some Senate pages stepped up to assist with House page duties. Unfortunately, Rice returned to his normal job in Speaker Tilton’s office. Rice carrying out page duties was the most excited I have seen him all session! Twitter has spoken and they want him back.

Earlier this evening I attempted to ask one of the House pages about what happened. But before I could finish asking the question, the Senate’s assistant sergeant-at-arms – who is assisting the House pages – told me the page would not be answering questions and then aggressively told me to back away. Tensions are very high in the Capitol!

As of this writing at 11:15 pm, the House is still in session.

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Media Critic
1 month ago


Areal Bilk
29 days ago

Newsflash! People quit when you treat them like shit. Maybe the house should stop with the theatrics and actually try governing.

28 days ago

Wednesday sure has grown up.

Ed Martin Jr
27 days ago

Good Job reporting Jeff