Dunleavy celebrates historic re-election with inaugural prayer banquet

An event was held, celebrating the beginning of Governor Dunleavy's second term.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:38 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A historic re-election for Governor Mike Dunleavy was celebrated in Fairbanks with an inaugural prayer banquet.

Gov. Dunleavy and his Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom celebrated the beginning of the next four years with an inaugural prayer banquet at the Westmark Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 28.

A crowd of business leader, politicians and aspiring students gathered at the event. Prayers, speeches and music marked the highlights of the banquet.

Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom spoke before Dunleavy, speaking about her previous work in government and the importance of the historic re-election. “Today we really do have so much celebrating. Seth mentioned we have the first governor to be re-elected in 26 years but we also have the first republican governor to be re-elected in 46 years,” Dahlstrom said.

Dunleavy is the first governor to win re-election since Tony Knowles did in 1998. Along with the governor’s re-election, a new opportunity has come for Dahlstrom. She says she prays to have the strength and wisdom to carry out her new duties. ”I am grateful for this opportunity governor. Thank you. Thank you for asking me to serve with you. I’m honored to do it. I’m honored to serve all of you and I’m looking forward to getting around as many places as possible in the state,” said Dahlstrom.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor, Bryce Ward introduced Governor Dunleavy. “It is my honor and privilege to be asked to give the introduction to Governor Dunleavy this morning,” said Ward.

Upon introducing the governor, Mayor Ward spoke on the importance of acknowledging that we are blessed to live in Alaska and the golden heart community. “As Alaskans we come to this inaugural breakfast with thanks giving for a state with abundance resources, for hardy people and strong leadership that is focused on the opportunities that are here for our state today and our future,” said Mayor Ward.

When Dunleavy took to the stage, he spoke about his past and his relationship with Fairbanks as well as its importance. “When I ran for governor the first time, the first piece of advice I got was ‘whatever you do, you gotta win Fairbanks because historically if you did not win Fairbanks, you did not win the governorship,” Dunleavy said.

Dunleavy said this is because Fairbanks is the heart of Alaska. He however suggested that the golden heart sentiments found in Fairbanks expand statewide to all Alaskans and it’s the reason he continues to serve and live in Alaska.

”We may bicker, we may fight, but there’s no place in the world where you can be a stranger and you can be off on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire and people will come and help you. If you need something done with your house and one of your family members is not feeling well, they will be right there to help you,” said Dunleavy.

Dunleavy said the people of Alaska will be the focus of his agenda during the next four years of his administration.