|Member of the
Alaska House of Representatives
from the 38th district
39th district (1999-2003)
January 19, 1999 – January 19, 2009
|Preceded by||Ivan M. Ivan|
|Succeeded by||Bob Herron|
August 31, 1973 |
|Spouse(s)||1) Jonathan Kapsner
2) Joe G. Nelson
|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 on the community of Bethel, from 1999 to 2009. Outside politics she has pursued careers in health care, journalism and public relations.
Sattler was originally elected in 1998, having defeated incumbent Ivan Martin Ivan of Akiak in the Democratic primary. Sattler appeared on the ballot in her first successful election under her maiden name, though she was at that point already married to Jonathan Kapsner. 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 served on various standing committees in the Alaska State House, including Finance, Resources and Health and Social Services. Special committee work included Fisheries, Education and Regulatory Review. Budget Subcommittees included: Corrections, Courts and Public Safety. Most notably, Mary successfully coalesced the then defunct "Bush Caucus", a non-partisan caucus of Representatives and Senators who represent rural and off-road communities in Alaska. She was Chair of the Bush Caucus for eight years. Mary successfully sponsored legislation relating to school safety, fisheries, inhalant abuse and judicial districts. Rural school construction, and requiring Alaska history curriculum for high school graduation were among many issues she championed.
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. He is the Chairman of the Board for Sealaska Corporation, and now re-married to Crystal Nelson.
Sattler has since reverted to going by her maiden name. Since leaving the House, she worked as Manager of Community Development and Sustainability for Donlin Gold Donlin Creek Mine. Sattler was elected to the Bethel city council in 2011 as a successful advocate of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center, and served until her term ended in 2013. Mary is now the sole proprietor of Sattler Strategies, a consulting business based in Bethel, Alaska. Mary is the mother of four children; Conrad and Van Kapsner and Job and Nora Nelson.
- State of Alaska Official Election Pamphlet (Region IV ed.). Juneau: Alaska Division of Elections. October 1998. p. 34.
- 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.
- Alaska State Legislature - Representative Mary Nelson official government website
- Project Vote Smart - Representative Mary Nelson (AK)[dead link] profile
- Follow the Money - Mary Sattler Kapsner
- Alaska's Democratic Caucus - Mary Nelson profile
- Facebook Facebook page
- Mary Kapsner at 100 Years of Alaska's Legislature
- Mary Nelson at 100 Years of Alaska's Legislature
|Youngest member of the Alaska House of Representatives
1999 – 2007