- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Senate’s Republican majority has welcomed its first Democratic member.

The caucus on Thursday announced the addition of Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel. That brings to 15 the number of majority members in the 20-person Senate.

It’s not uncommon for rural Democrats to be part of a Republican-led majority. It’s been that way in the House for years. During the last legislature, Democratic Sens. Dennis Egan of Juneau and Donny Olson of Golovin were in the Senate majority.

Hoffman said in a statement that he looks forward to focusing on solutions to high energy prices in rural Alaska.

Hoffman will remain a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

In the lead-up to this year’s elections, Hoffman endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan over Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

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