Senate President Peter Micciche (R – Soldotna) filed a letter of intent yesterday for reelection. This allows him to start campaigning and raising money, though he will need to wait to do so until the legislature is not in session. He is the first incumbent legislator to file for reelection for next year’s election. Micciche is one of at least ten senators whose seats will be up next year.
Senate President Peter Micciche filed his letter of intent yesterday. Keep in mind, districts are going to change next year with redistricting. At least 10 Senate seats will be up (everyone who ran in 2018), which includes Micciche. #akleg pic.twitter.com/0TvlkM5Gm3
— The Alaska Landmine (@alaskalandmine) June 3, 2021
Every two years, half of the 20 member Senate is up for reelection. Senate terms are four years, while House terms are two years. Micciche, along with nine other Senators, were elected in 2018. However, with redistricting, it is likely that more than ten Senate seats will be up next year. Redistricting occurs every ten years in conjunction with the decennial census. If a Senate district where the senator is not up for reelection in a redistricting year significantly changes, the Senate seat becomes up for reelection. In 2002, a redistricting year, 17 Senate seats were up rather than ten. In 2012, the last redistricting year, 19 Senate seats, all but one, were up. In 2014, the election following redistricting, 14 Senate seats were up due to litigation over redistricting and districts being altered.
Next year’s election will also be the first since Ballot Measure 2 passed last year. Rather than party primaries and then a general election, there will be a single primary where the top four finishers advance to a general election that will be conducted using ranked choice voting.
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The last two Senate presidents were defeated when they ran for reelection. In 2018, former Senate President Pete Kelly was defeated by now-Senator Scott Kawasaki (D – Fairbanks) in the general election. Last year, former Senate President Cathy Giessel was defeated by now-Senator Roger Holland (R – Anchorage) in the Republican primary. Micciche has taken criticism recently from some Republicans for voting against a full statutory PFD, something he supported when he last ran for reelection. Micciche was able to form a Republican Senate majority on the first day of session after months of gridlock and disagreement over the PFD.
Micciche did not immediately respond for comment.