Cathy Muñoz

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Cathy Muñoz
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 34th district
In office
January 19, 2009 – January 16, 2017
Preceded by Andrea Doll
Succeeded by Justin Parish
Personal details
Born (1964-06-23) June 23, 1964 (age 52)
Juneau, Alaska
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Juan
Relations Elton Engstrom, Jr. (father), Sally Engstrom (mother), Elton Engstrom Sr. (grandfather), Thelma Engstrom (grandmother)
Children Mercedes, Matthew
Residence Juneau, Alaska
Alma mater University of the Pacific U.S.
Occupation business owner
Religion Episcopal

Catherine Nora "Cathy" Muñoz (née Engstrom;[1] born June 23, 1964) was a Republican member of the Alaska House of Representatives, who from 2009 to 2017 represented the 34th District.[2] She served as Co-Chair of the Community & Regional Affairs Committee and Vice-Chair of the Education Committee.[3] Muñoz has been a small business owner since 1988.[4] Muñoz was a third-generation member of the Alaska Legislature. Her father served in the Alaska House and Senate, her grandfather as the mayor of Douglas, Alaska and in the territorial and State Senates, and her grandmother served in the territorial House.[1]

Early Political Experience[edit]

Past political and government positions include City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Assembly: 3 Terms, Chair, CBJ Finance, Chair, CBJ Human, Resources Committee, CBJ liaison to School Board and Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, Former Chair, Trails, Working Group, Chair, Affordable Housing and Alternate Member: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

House of Representatives[edit]

In 2008, Muñoz beat Democratic incumbent Andrea Doll in District 4, 50.6% to 48.4%.[5] In 2014 Democrat George McGuan ran against Muñoz in district 34. Muñoz won 62.4% of the votes and McGuan won 37.6% of the votes in a mainly Republican district.[6] It was the first time she had faced opposition in six years.[7] In 2016, Democrat Justin Parish beat her 50.9% to 48.5% on a platform of fiscal responsibility. Her defeat was three months after it was revealed that she had written letters to Judge Phillip Pallenberg supporting leniency for two defendants convicted respectively of eight and six counts of child sexual assault offenses. After they became public knowledge, she unsuccessfully attempted to get one letter removed from the case file.[8][5][9]

Gun Control: Muñoz voted against restriction on purchasing fire arms and believes that there should not be background checks required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows. She also supports allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons. She believes no license should be required for gun possession.[10]

Equal Rights: Muñoz voted for same sex marriage and supports the inclusion of gender identity in Alaska's anti-discrimination laws.[10] She supported the inclusion of sexual orientation in Alaska's anti-discrimination laws.[10] Muñoz supports equal rights but not same-sex marriage, saying she doesn't want infringement of the rights of churches.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Muñoz is a fourth-generation Alaskan. She and her husband Juan have two children, Mercedes and Matthew. She graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School, and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of the Pacific (United States).[12] Her mother-in-law is famed Alaskan artist and weaver Rie Muñoz.[13]

Muñoz is Episcopal.[14] As a teenager she worked aboard fishing scows and in fish processing plants on the slime line.[15] Cathy worked in the Ad Lib art gallery in downtown Juneau which she opened with her mother Sally, until she decided to run for the legislature in 2008.[15] Cathy's father, Republican Elton Engstrom, served in the state House from 1965-1966 and the Senate from 1967-1971. His father Elton Engstrom Sr. was a territorial and state senator who died in office in 1963,[16] and his mother served in the 18th Territorial Legislature in 1947.


  1. ^ a b Atwood, Evangeline; DeArmond, Robert N. (1977). Who's Who in Alaskan Politics. Portland, Oregon: Binford & Mort for the Alaska Historical Commission. p. 27. 
  2. ^ "Cathy Munoz". Ballotpedia. 
  3. ^ "Rep. Muñoz's Staff and Committees". 
  4. ^ "Rep. Muñoz's". 
  5. ^ a b She had no opposition in 2010 and 2012 and was running in District 31 in the latter.Parish knocks out Muñoz house district 34, Juneau Empire, James Brooks, November 8, 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  6. ^ "George McGuan - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  7. ^ Kelly, Casey. "McGuan gives Muñoz first election challenge in six years". KTOO. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  8. ^ Looking back at Juneau's biggest stories of 2016, Juneau Empire, Lisa Phu, January 1, 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  9. ^ EMPIRE, Paula Solis/JUNEAU. "Alaska lawmaker writes letters on behalf of defendants in two child sex abuse cases". Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  10. ^ a b c "The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  11. ^ "Juneau lawmakers weigh in on same-sex marriage". Juneau Empire - Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  12. ^ "The Alaska State Legislature: House of Representatives". Alaska State Legislature. 
  13. ^ "Rie Muñoz Leaves A Legacy Of Delight, Joy And Laughter". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved 2015-12-11. 
  14. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  15. ^ a b "About Cathy" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  16. ^ A Democrat recounts Alaska party politics, Juneau Empire, Elton Engstrom, September 22, 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2017.

External links[edit]