Mary Sattler

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Mary Sattler
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 38th district
In office
January 21, 2003 – January 19, 2009
Preceded by (redistricting took effect)
Succeeded by Bob Herron
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 39th district
In office
January 19, 1999 – January 20, 2003
Preceded by Ivan M. Ivan
Succeeded by (redistricting takes effect)
Personal details
Born (1973-08-31) August 31, 1973 (age 41)
Anchorage, Alaska
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) 1) Jonathan Kapsner
2) Joe G. Nelson
Residence Bethel, Alaska
Alma mater University of Northern Colorado, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Southeast, University of Alaska Anchorage
Occupation journalist, public relations

Mary K. Sattler (born August 31, 1973), is a Democratic politician in the U.S. state of Alaska, best known for serving five terms in the Alaska House of Representatives. Sattler represented the 39th District, and following redistricting the 38th District, which were centered around the community of Bethel, from 1999 to 2009. Outside of politics, she has pursued careers in health care, journalism and public relations.

Sattler is the second of eleven children of Ward Sattler (born December 1, 1940), who was a bush pilot and school teacher based in Bethel for several decades. He was also an early staff member of Alaska's at-large representative in the U.S. House, Don Young. Ward Sattler twice ran as a Republican for the 6th District House seat, challenging Democratic incumbent Woodie Salmon. The first time, in 2004, he ran as a Republican while his daughter ran for reelection to her House seat as a Democrat. Salmon lost his reelection bid in 2010 to Alan S. Dick, who like Ward Sattler is a Republican, former educator and resident of the Stony River drainage.

Sattler was originally elected in 1998, having defeated incumbent Ivan Martin Ivan of Akiak in the Democratic primary. Ivan served three non-consecutive terms, which were intertwined with the transition of Lyman Hoffman from the House to the Alaska Senate. Sattler appeared on the ballot in her first election under her maiden name, though she was at that point already married to Jonathan Kapsner.[1] She was elected and reelected mostly without or with only minimal opposition, with Ivan's return to challenge her in the 2002 primary the closest contest she faced.

She was the youngest member of the Alaska House until the 2006 election of Scott Kawasaki

During her tenure in the House, she was mostly known by the married name Mary Kapsner. In the latter part of her House tenure, she married Joe Nelson and became known as Mary Nelson. Joe Nelson is director of admissions at the University of Alaska Southeast, and in 2009 was one of then-governor Sarah Palin's unconfirmed appointees to replace Juneau's state senator Kim Elton, who resigned from his Senate seat to take a position in the Obama administration. That Senate seat would eventually be filled by Dennis Egan.

Sattler has since reverted to going by her maiden name. Since leaving the House, she has worked as the spokesperson for the effort to develop the Donlin Creek Mine. Sattler was elected to the Bethel city council in 2011.[2]


  1. ^ State of Alaska Official Election Pamphlet (Region IV ed.). Juneau: Alaska Division of Elections. October 1998. p. 34. 
  2. ^ Hopkins, Kyle (October 21, 2011). "12:15 p.m. UPDATE: Business ideas: North Slope computer farm & kuspuks for everyone!". Rural Alaska blog: The Village. Anchorage: Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Tom Brice
Youngest member of the Alaska House of Representatives
1999 - 2007
Succeeded by
Scott Kawasaki