Both 32-year-old House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, and 25-year-old Rep. Jonathon Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka, made the Washington Post list of 40 people across the country who are under 40 years old and have made a name for themselves in politics outside of the Beltway. Following is the write-up on both. (Visit the Post website site for neat graphics and a photo of each.) The Washington Post said that it consulted more than 100 sources to come up with the names.
First elected to the Alaska legislature in 2010 at age 29, Pruitt became House majority leader just two years later. As others on this list show, that kind of quick rise isn’t unheard of in states with term limits, but Alaska doesn’t have any — making the accomplishment more impressive. He passed on a run for lieutenant governor this year, but Alaska Republicans expect him to be on the statewide ballot soon enough.
Kreiss-Tomkins was elected to the Alaska legislature in 2012, defeating powerful House Finance Chairman Bill Thomas (R) by a mere 32 votes. He did so in a district that requires a candidate to do plenty of island-hopping to introduce himself, and Kreiss-Tomkins would often sleep on someone’s couch while awaiting a trip to the next round of glad-handing. And now that he’s in the Alaska House, Kreiss-Tomkins is already making a name for himself, recently spearheading a successful effort to recognize 20 Alaska Native languages as official state languages.