Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins Article

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Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins at Alaska Day Parade crop.jpg
Kreiss-Tomkins greeting a spectator at the Alaska Day Parade in downtown Sitka (2014)
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 35th district
Assumed office
January 15, 2013
Preceded by Bill Thomas
Personal details
Born (1989-02-07) February 7, 1989 (age 29)
Sitka, Alaska
Political party Democratic
ResidenceSitka, Alaska
Alma mater Yale University

Jonathan S. Kreiss-Tomkins (born February 7, 1989) is a member of the Alaska House of Representatives. A Democrat, he represents the state's 35th district, which encompasses many Southeast island communities including Hoonah, Sitka, Kake, Klawock, Craig, Angoon, and Petersburg.

Alaska House of Representatives


For the 30th Legislature, Kreiss-Tomkins is a member of the following committees: [1]

  • House State Affairs(Chair)
  • House Community & Regional Affairs
  • House Fisheries
  • House Judiciary


House Bill 216, sponsored by Kreiss-Tomkins, was signed into law on October 23, 2014, making each of the twenty Native languages in Alaska an official language of the state. The act, which was passed by large bipartisan majorities in both chambers, adds Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Unangax, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages as official languages of the state. [2]

Political campaigns

2012 election

Due to the 2010 census redistricting, Bill Thomas, a state representative since 2004, was redrawn into a slightly altered district. Kreiss-Tomkins's hometown of Sitka fell into the 34th district and no other candidates from the Democratic party filed to run in the primary, so he decided to run for the seat. [3] Kreiss-Tomkins dropped out of Yale University after three years to run. [4]

The race was very close, and Kreiss-Tomkins won with 50.12% of the vote. After a recount that decreased his margin of victory from 34 votes to 32, the vote was finalized on December 3, 2012, almost a month after election day. [5] [6]

2014 election

In the 2014 midterm elections, Kreiss-Tomkins was reelected with 60% of the vote (3393 votes to 2288). [7] His opponent was Petersburg Republican Steven Samuelson, who had lost twice before to Peggy Wilson of Wrangell in primaries. Kreiss-Tomkins was elected in a slightly altered district (renumbered as House District 35) that now included Petersburg and the northern end of Prince of Wales Island, but no longer covered Haines and Metlakatla. [8]

Media coverage

After Kreiss-Tomkins's victory in 2012, The Nation wrote an article about him titled ″ Alaska's Lesson for the Left.″ Following the 2014 legislative session, during which Kreiss-Tomkins sponsored a successful bill that made Alaska's Native languages official, the Washington Post named him one its ″ 40 Under 40,″ a list of people younger than 40 making a name for themselves in politics outside the Beltway.

Personal life

As a freshman at Sitka High School in 2003, Kreiss-Tomkins was a major online organizer for the Howard Dean presidential campaign. [9] He is a long distance runner; he won the Alpine Adventure Race in 2009, [10] and placed second in the Coyote Two Moon ultramarathon in 2010. [11] As a cellist, he toured Southeast Alaska with the Indigo Piano Trio. [12] [13] He is also a mountaineer; in 2009 he climbed the highest volcano in the world, Argentina’s Ojos del Salado, to conclusively measure its height against a neighboring peak in Chile. [14] [15]


  1. ^ "Kreiss-Tomkins Committee Membership". Alaska State Legislature. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  2. ^ "NEWS: House Minority Praises the Signing of a Bill Designating 20 Alaska Native Languages as Official State Languages". Alaska Democrats. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Sitkan Enters House Race in New District". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  4. ^ "How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required)". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  5. ^ "House District 34 Recount - December 3, 2012" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  6. ^ Miller, Mark (December 4, 2012). "Kreiss-Tomkins wins seat by 32 votes". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Kreiss-Tomkins reelected by wide margin". KCAW. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  8. ^ "No primary challengers for Sitka house seat". KCAW. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  9. ^ Miller, Andrew (17 November 2003). "Teen is top cyber fan of presidential candidate". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Alpine Adventure Run Preview". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  11. ^ Beckett, Sean (3 April 2010). "The ultramarathon: if a marathon just isn't enough". Yale Herald. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Trio Swings Tunes from Bach to Lady Gaga". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  13. ^ Sterling, Libby (30 December 2009). "Trio of young virtuosos embarks on Southeast tour". Capital City Weekly. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  14. ^ "The Year in Sitka Sports". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  15. ^ Gonzalez, Susan. "Yale Student Makes Mission Measuring Mountains". Yale News. Retrieved 30 January 2013.

External links

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lance Pruitt
Youngest member of the Alaska House of Representatives
Succeeded by