Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins

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Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins 743.jpg
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins in front of the Alaska State Capitol in February 2020
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 35th district
Assumed office
January 15, 2013
Preceded byBill Thomas (redistricting)
Personal details
Born (1989-02-07) February 7, 1989 (age 32)
Sitka, Alaska
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceSitka, Alaska
Alma materYale University

Jonathan S. Kreiss-Tomkins (born February 7, 1989) is a member of the Alaska House of Representatives. A Democrat, he represents the state's 35th district, which encompasses many Southeast island communities including Hoonah, Sitka, Kake, Klawock, Craig, Angoon, and Petersburg.

Alaska House of Representatives[edit]


For the 30th Legislature, Kreiss-Tomkins is a member of the following committees:[1]

  • House State Affairs (Chair)
  • House Community & Regional Affairs
  • House Fisheries
  • House Judiciary


House Bill 216, sponsored by Kreiss-Tomkins, was signed into law on October 23, 2014, making each of the twenty Native languages in Alaska an official language of the state. The act, which was passed by large bipartisan majorities in both chambers, adds Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Unangax, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages as official languages of the state.[2]

Political campaigns[edit]

2012 election[edit]

Due to the 2010 census redistricting, Bill Thomas, a state representative since 2004, was redrawn into a slightly altered district. Kreiss-Tomkins's hometown of Sitka fell into the 34th district and no other candidates from the Democratic party filed to run in the primary, so he decided to run for the seat.[3] Kreiss-Tomkins dropped out of Yale University after three years to run.[4]

The race was very close, and Kreiss-Tomkins won with 50.12% of the vote. After a recount that decreased his margin of victory from 34 votes to 32, the vote was finalized on December 3, 2012, almost a month after election day.[5][6]

2014 election[edit]

Kreiss-Tomkins, campaigning for reelection in October 2014, greets a spectator while walking down Lincoln Street in downtown Sitka during the Alaska Day Parade.

In the 2014 midterm elections, Kreiss-Tomkins was reelected with 60% of the vote (3393 votes to 2288).[7] His opponent was Petersburg Republican Steven Samuelson, who had lost twice before to Peggy Wilson of Wrangell in primaries. Kreiss-Tomkins was elected in a slightly altered district (renumbered as House District 35) that now included Petersburg and the northern end of Prince of Wales Island, but no longer covered Haines and Metlakatla.[8]

Media coverage[edit]

After Kreiss-Tomkins's victory in 2012, The Nation wrote an article about him titled ″Alaska's Lesson for the Left.″ Following the 2014 legislative session, during which Kreiss-Tomkins sponsored a successful bill that made Alaska's Native languages official, the Washington Post named him one its ″40 Under 40,″ a list of people younger than 40 making a name for themselves in politics outside the Beltway.

Personal life[edit]

As a freshman at Sitka High School in 2003, Kreiss-Tomkins was a major online organizer for the Howard Dean presidential campaign.[9] He is a long distance runner; he won the Alpine Adventure Race in 2009,[10] and placed second in the Coyote Two Moon ultramarathon in 2010.[11] As a cellist, he toured Southeast Alaska with the Indigo Piano Trio.[12][13] He is also a mountaineer; in 2009 he climbed the highest volcano in the world, Argentina’s Ojos del Salado, to conclusively measure its height against a neighboring peak in Chile.[14][15] Kreiss-Tomkins is also a co-founder of Outer Coast College[16][17] and the Alaska Fellows Program. [18]


  1. ^ "Kreiss-Tomkins Committee Membership". Alaska State Legislature. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "NEWS: House Minority Praises the Signing of a Bill Designating 20 Alaska Native Languages as Official State Languages". Alaska Democrats. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  3. ^ "Sitkan Enters House Race in New District". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required)". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  5. ^ "House District 34 Recount - December 3, 2012" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  6. ^ Miller, Mark (December 4, 2012). "Kreiss-Tomkins wins seat by 32 votes". Juneau Empire. Archived from the original on December 3, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  7. ^ "Kreiss-Tomkins reelected by wide margin". KCAW. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  8. ^ "No primary challengers for Sitka house seat". KCAW. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  9. ^ Miller, Andrew (November 17, 2003). "Teen is top cyber fan of presidential candidate". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  10. ^ "Alpine Adventure Run Preview". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  11. ^ Beckett, Sean (April 3, 2010). "The ultramarathon: if a marathon just isn't enough". Yale Herald. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Trio Swings Tunes from Bach to Lady Gaga". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  13. ^ Sterling, Libby (December 30, 2009). "Trio of young virtuosos embarks on Southeast tour". Capital City Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  14. ^ "The Year in Sitka Sports". Sitka Sentinel. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  15. ^ Gonzalez, Susan. "Yale Student Makes Mission Measuring Mountains". Yale News. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  16. ^ Worthen, Molly (June 8, 2019). "The Anti-College Is on the Rise". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  17. ^ "An alternative college education". The Economist. December 19, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  18. ^ Campbell, Aidan (March 5, 2019). "Anchored in Alaska". Yale Daily News. Retrieved January 5, 2020.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lance Pruitt
Youngest member of the Alaska House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Sara Rasmussen