Lesil McGuire

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Lesil McGuire
Senator Lesil McGuire.jpg
Member of the Alaska Senate
from the K district
Assumed office
January 15, 2013
Preceded by redistricted
Member of the Alaska Senate
from the N district
In office
January 16, 2007 – January 15, 2013
Preceded by Ben Stevens
Succeeded by redistricted
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 28th district
In office
January 20, 2003 – January 16, 2007
Preceded by Beverly Masek
Succeeded by Craig Johnson
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 17th district
In office
January 8, 2001 – January 20, 2003
Preceded by John Cowdery
Succeeded by Pete Kott
Personal details
Born (1971-01-22) January 22, 1971 (age 44)
Portland, Oregon
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jason Skala
Residence Anchorage, Alaska
Alma mater Willamette University
Profession politician

Lesil McGuire is an American politician in the state of Alaska. She is a Republican member of the Alaska Senate taking office in 2007 after her tenure as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives from 2000 through 2006. She served Senate District N until redistricting in 2012 placed her in District K for 2013.

Early years[edit]

McGuire was born in Portland, Oregon, on January 22, 1971, before her family moved to Alaska in 1973.[1] She attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon beginning in 1989,[1] where she majored in both political science and speech.[2] She also served two years as an intern and press aide for Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska before graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[2] After college she attended law school at Willamette University College of Law, graduating with a juris doctorate in 1998.[2] In law school she worked for Willamette Law Review, the school's legal journal.[2] After graduation, she returned to Alaska and clerked briefly for Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot before taking a position as an aide to the Alaska State House Judiciary Committee.

Personal life[edit]

McGuire was married to former Alaska Representative Tom Anderson. The couple had one son, Grayson.

On December 7, 2006, Anderson was arrested on a federal warrant at his home by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was held overnight in the Anchorage jail.[3] Anderson had been indicted the previous day on seven counts, including two counts of extortion, one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy, and three counts of money laundering involving the use of a sham corporation to hide the origin of the bribery payments.[4][5]

On July 9, 2007, a jury found Anderson guilty on all seven charges of extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering. He was sentenced to a term of 60 months in prison and was required to surrender to the Federal Prison Camp in Sheridan, Oregon on December 3, 2007.

McGuire divorced Anderson while he was in prison. She remarried, to Jason Skala, and has three stepsons.

Political career[edit]

In 2000, at the age of 29, she won election to the Alaska House of Representatives to replace John Cowdery, who was elected to the Alaska State Senate.[2] She served in the House as a moderate Republican until 2006 when she was elected to the Alaska State Senate, continuing to serve as a moderate Republican. She is currently the youngest member of the currently-serving Alaska State Senate. She is also the newest president of PNWER, in addition to her duties with the state. She is also active with CSG, otherwise known as the Council of State Governments, having served as the past chair of the Western Region.

Stemming from a 4 September 2008 incident, McGuire allegedly was part of a ruckus on an Alaska Airlines airplane, causing the pilot to stop the plane on the runway. Witnesses reported McGuire was rude, and caused delay by not remaining in her seat. She allegedly threw water and continued using her Blackberry when instructed not to. Police questioned McGuire at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport but did not determine there were enough grounds to charge the legislator with a crime.[6]

During the 2012 state election, McGuire joined the new Senate Majority Caucus and was appointed as Senate Rules Committee chair. The new Majority Caucus that was formed ousted the existing Bipartisan Coalition (of which McGuire was a part of) with oil tax reform being one of its main objectives.[7] The caucus produced a law, signed by the governor, that massively cut taxes on oil corporations. A citizens' initiative to repeal the giveaway failed narrowly in the non-presidential election year, low turnout, 2014 primary. Proponents of repeal were outspent over 100-1 by the oil corporations.[8]

McGuire announced her decision to run for Alaska's Lieutenant Governor in Alaska gubernatorial election, 2014. She was the first candidate to declare for lieutenant governor and highlighted her statewide experience.[9] She did not run in the primary, however, and the nomination was uncontested, going to outgoing Anchorage Borough Mayor Dan Sullivan. Sullivan, paired with incumbent Governor Sean Parnell, lost in the general election.

On September 28, 2015, McGuire announced that she would not run for reelection to the state senate.[10]


  1. ^ a b Senator McGuire. The Alaska State Legislature. Retrieved on March 10, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hasselbring, Bobbie. Alumni Profiles: Law in Public Service: A Shiny New Star. Willamette Lawyer, Fall 2004. pp. 20–21.
  3. ^ Associated Press. (2006-12-08). Legislator arrested in FBI probe: Anderson seized at Anchorage home on bribery warrant." Juneau Empire. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  4. ^ United States Attorney's Office, District of Alaska. (2007-12-08). "Alaska State Representative Thomas T. Anderson indicted on charges of extortion, conspiracy, bribery and money laundering." F.B.I. press release. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. Also available through Anchorage Daily News website.
  5. ^ United States v. Anderson. Indictment. Case 3:06-cr-00099-JWS-JDR. Filed December 7, 2006 in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  6. ^ [1] Associated Press
  7. ^ Mauer, Richard (7 November 2012). "Boosted by election, all-Republican majority emerges in state Senate". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Oil tax repeal opponents outspending supporters 100-1, Alaska Dispatch News, Richard Mauer, July 21, 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  9. ^ Hopkins, Kyle (5 June 2013). "McGuire files to run for lieutenant governor". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Alaska lawmaker McGuire says she won't seek reelection, Alaska Dispatch News, Michelle Theriault Boots, September 28, 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.

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