Delegating Denver #2 of 56: Alaska

AlaskaClick here to see a larger image.

Total Number of Delegates: 18 Pledged: 13 Unpledged: 5

How to Recognize an Alaska Delegate: Outdoorsy Alaskans are as easy to spot as a pair of paint-splattered tan Timberland boots! Their distinctive look is typically centered around disheveled denim -- whether it be pants, skirt or jacket -- that is perpetually covered in dog hair and stained with some slime that mysteriously oozed out of a crack in the driveway during the infamous "Breakup Season." Or some such story. And with Alaskans, you can always expect a story. In warmer climes, the men of Alaska will remove their Carhartt parkas during the daylight hours, but Alaskan women are fond of wearing their spaghetti-strapped flower-print dresses over red union suits the whole day through.

Famous Alaskans: Irene Bedard (native Alaskan who was the voice of Disney's Pocahontas), Tom Bodette, Jewel, and cartoonist Vip (Virgil F. Partch)

Famous Alaska Democrats: New Deal territorial governor Ernest "Let Us End American Colonialism" Gruening, and 2008 presidential candidate Senator Mike Gravel

Famous Alaskans With Denver Connections: Mark Schlereth, Denver Broncos Guard (1995-2000), played in two Super Bowls and was selected to the 1998 Pro Bowl for his performance in the 1998 season.

State Motto: North to the Future (official) The Last Frontier (unofficial) Population: 670,053 Racial Distribution: 71% white, 4% black, 16% Native Alaskan, 5% Asian, 5% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $34,000 Unemployment: 10%

Most Alaskan Denver Neighborhood: Harvey Park

Recommendations for the Alaska Delegation:

Most Alaskan Bar: Falling Rock Tap House 1919 Blake Street Alaska is home to more brewpubs per capita than any other state, and Alaskans are notoriously particular about drinking their brew fresh. Falling Rock offers the best selection of handcrafted tap and bottled beer choices for the beer connoisseur.

Most Alaskan Place to Eat: The Fort 19192 Highway 8 Morrison, Colorado Even Alaskans who are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating wild game will be dazzled by the unique Colorado flavor of their favorite foods.

Best Day Trip: Black Hawk Click here to see larger image. The cost of living in Alaska is sky-high, and so are the paychecks. Alaskans' money may not go very far back home, but in Colorado, they'll feel like tycoons with money to throw away. What better place to unload cabin-fever cash than a trip to Black Hawk? Colorado and Alaska share a few similar state-building histories. The Pikes Peak and Yukon gold rushes were the population-generators that propelled the two territories to statehood. Alaskan politicians are used to funding state projects with dividends from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields; they should be interested in seeing how Colorado has learned to raise state coffer chump change by scraping away all remnants of historic gold-extraction mines and mills and replacing them with modern-day penny-, nickel- and quarter-extracting casinos. --Kenny Be

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