Mary McKinnon for State House Spenard Flyer


The Mary McKinnon Fund helps raise funds for women who are first-time candidates for Alaska State House or Alaska State Senate.

The Mary McKinnon Fund

The Mary McKinnon Fund was established by the Alaska Democratic Party in 1987 as a memorial to honor a woman who was a force of nature in Alaska politics for two decades. Mary first started volunteering on political campaigns in Massachusetts when she was 16 and never stopped. When her husband was transferred to Elmendorf in 1961, it wasn’t long before she became involved in Alaska politics. Her warm personality, sense of humor, and loyalty to the causes and people she believed in endeared her to Democrats all across the state. Her volunteer work for candidates was legendary. She took on any job that needed to be done and made sure it got done.

In 1984 Mary decided to run for the state house. Despite her long experience in politics, she faced the same struggles that many first-time women candidates faced raising money.  After an expensive and hard-fought primary, she lost the general election by 33 votes.  Mary passed away in 1986 and the Mary McKinnon Fund was established to honor her memory and to assure that the Democratic Party provided support for first-time progressive women candidates who have the courage to step forward and run for state office.

Since its inception, the Mary McKinnon Fund has contributed more than $90,000 to women candidates. The Fund provides equal support to all first-time women candidates in the general election. Among those women who have received support in the past are Georgianna Lincoln, Beth Kerttula, Berta Gardner, Gretchen Guess, Harriet Drummond, Ivy Spohnholz, Geran Tarr, Andi Story, Sara Hannan, Tiffany Zulkosky, Anita Thorne, Liz Snyder, Lupe Marroquin, and Suzanne Little to name a few!

Mary McKinnon Fund candidates since 2012:

2012:  Roselynn Cacy, Elizabeth Diament, Harriet Drummond, Jamey Duhamel, Janice Golub, Pamela Jo Rahn, Kay Rollison, Anne Sudkamp, Geran Tarr, Michelle Scannell, Susan Parsons Herman

2014:  Laurie Hummel, Sharron Hunter, Tamara Kruse, Clare Ross, Shauna Thornton, Gretchen Wehmhoff

2016:  Patricia Faye Brazel, Shirley Cote, Sue Levi, Sheri Olson, Christina Sinclair, Gretchen Wehmhoff

2018:  Lyn Franks, Sara Hannan, Susan Kay, Amber Lee, Eileen Patterson, Andrea Story, Tiffany Zulkosky, Shawn Butler, Debra Call, Stephany Jeffers, Janice Park

The Mary McKinnon Fund founding board members include:

Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer
Deborah Bonito
Pegge Begich
Rep. Kay Brown
Sen. Johnny Ellis
Rep. Bill Parker
Rep. Joe McKinnon.
The late great John Alexander

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Additional Information

Legal contribution limitations are up to $5000 per year as an individual to The Mary McKinnon Fund. The Mary McKinnon Fund, House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC), Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (SDCC) and the Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) are considered one organization for maximum party. The party donation limit does not affect your ability to make additional donations to individual candidates.