Human Rights Commission nominee lone defeat for Walker in joint session

Drew Phoenix was the only person rejected from more than 100 nominees by Gov. Bill Walker
  • In this March 30, 2012, photo, Drew Phoenix, left, speaks to a reporter in Anchorage. (Rachel D’Oro | Associated Press File)

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature has refused to confirm the appointment of a transgender Fairbanks man to the state’s Human Rights Commission.

The Legislature, meeting in joint session May 16, refused the confirmation of Drew Phoenix by a 24-35 margin. Phoenix was the only person among more than 100 gubernatorial nominees to not receive legislative confirmation during a marathon 4½-hour floor session.

While the state of Alaska does not keep statistics on such matters, the Empire believes Phoenix would have been the first transgender individual in an Alaska appointive or elective position. Human Rights Commission members are unpaid.

“Like all my nominees, Drew Phoenix was the most qualified for the position,” Gov. Walker told KTUU-TV through a statement by spokeswoman Grace Jang. “I thank him for putting his name forward, and for his willingness to serve.”

Read the rest of the story at



Contact reporter James Brooks at [email protected] or call 419-7732.



05/17/2017 - 12:48pm