James Brooks

James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Kurka calls on Pierce to resign from governor’s race, citing unconfirmed harassment claim

By: - September 2, 2022

The top runner-up in Alaska’s top-four primary election for governor is calling for No. 4 finisher Charlie Pierce to either publicly deny an unconfirmed workplace harassment claim against him or withdraw from the race. “Today I am appealing to Charlie to either step up and fight back against any false salacious attacks that have been […]

Alaska revenue commissioner Lucinda Mahoney to retire Sept. 9

By: - September 1, 2022

Lucinda Mahoney, head of the Alaska Department of Revenue, will retire Sept. 9, ending a 30-month tenure as the official in charge of collecting the money that pays for the state budget. In her resignation letter, Mahoney said, “it is now time for me to re-focus my energy on my health and my family.” An […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Eastman stays on ballot for now as Anchorage judge declines to determine eligibility before printing

By: - September 1, 2022

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has said he will not determine whether Republican Rep. David Eastman is eligible to hold state office before ballots are printed for the Nov. 8 general election. Wednesday’s order from Judge Jack McKenna denied a request for an expedited schedule amid a lawsuit challenging Eastman’s placement on the ballot. The […]

Peltola wins U.S. House race, first woman and Alaska Native to represent Alaska in House

By: - August 31, 2022

Democrat Mary Peltola will become the first woman to represent Alaska in the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Alaska Native ever to serve in Congress. The former state legislator and current tribal fisheries leader is the first Democrat to win a U.S. House race here in 50 years and will serve the remaining […]

After public safety shift, Alaska State Troopers have first Black leader

By: - August 31, 2022

The deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety is retiring, and as part of the shift to replace him, the department has named its first Black colonel, Maurice “Mo” Hughes. James Cockrell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, announced the changes to reporters on Wednesday morning.  Current DPS Deputy Commissioner Leon […]

Here’s how Alaska’s first ranked choice election will be counted

By: - August 30, 2022

The Alaska Division of Elections will announce the unofficial winner of the special election to replace Congressman Don Young in a 4 p.m. livestream broadcast on the division’s Facebook page. Though certified results won’t be available until later this week and a few votes may remain uncounted on Wednesday, the result is expected to bring […]

Secret investigation preceded Alaska governor candidate’s resignation as mayor

By: - August 29, 2022

The Kenai Peninsula Borough hired an Anchorage legal firm to conduct a “confidential, internal investigation” in July, the borough’s attorney said Sunday, but he declined to say whether the investigation involved outgoing Mayor Charlie Pierce, now a candidate for Alaska governor. A contract provided by borough attorney Sean Kelley following a public records request says […]

A fishing guide from Fairbanks is poised to fill a spot in Alaska’s U.S. House election

By: - August 27, 2022

In Chris Bye’s preferred campaign photo, the Libertarian U.S. House candidate is ripping open his dress shirt to reveal a T-shirt that says, “Do Good Recklessly.” After Republican fourth-place candidate Tara Sweeney abruptly withdrew from Alaska’s November U.S. House race, Bye will fill a spot in the state’s top-four primary election, an act that will […]

Charlie Pierce, Kenai Peninsula mayor, says he will resign to focus on governor bid

By: - August 26, 2022

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, one of four candidates for Alaska governor in November’s general election, said Friday morning that he will resign as mayor, effective Sept. 30, in order to focus on his race for governor. The announcement came three days after a committee of the borough Assembly held a pair of unusual […]

framed photos of Alaska governors hanging in a hallway

Dunleavy transition-firings lawsuit, begun in 2019, won’t end before 2023

By: - August 25, 2022

A legal dispute that began when Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office in 2018 will not be resolved before this year’s gubernatorial election. Last week, a federal judge set a 2023 timeline for a trial to set financial damages in a case involving Libby Bakalar, one of four state employees who sued Dunleavy, his former chief […]

The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Supreme Court upholds law targeting international tax havens

By: - August 18, 2022

The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Alaska Department of Revenue and against a multinational corporation that sought to overturn a state law limiting corporations’ ability to hide assets in international tax havens. On Aug. 5, the court ruled that the law does not violate either the Commerce Clause or Due Process […]

Mary Peltola, Democratic candidate for U.S. House, speaks at an event in Juneau on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Democratic candidate Peltola leads U.S. House race early, but Palin may win in final count

By: - August 17, 2022

Democratic candidate Mary Peltola left election day leading Alaska’s special election for U.S. House, but the state’s new ranked choice voting system may leave Republican candidate and former governor Sarah Palin the ultimate winner. As of 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, with 323 of 402 precincts reporting, Peltola had earned 38.4% of first-choice vote in a […]