Cordova, Alaska, has long been known for its rugged terrain and strong rural roots.
But as its governor this week, Gov.
Brian Joyce, a Democrat, has a hard job: to govern while balancing his duties as a legislator with his personal interests.
In a state that has never elected a Democrat to statewide office, Joyce will be a target of the GOP.
In the early days of his career, he was known as a tea party crusader who pushed through a state law mandating that the state be redrawn to favor Democrats.
But his political career has not always been kind to the state, especially when it comes to local issues.
The Cordova Herald recently reported that Joyce, who has lived in the state since 1981, has been involved in an anti-gay marriage bill, opposed to same-sex marriage.
In 2010, he supported a constitutional amendment that would have repealed the state constitution.
Joyce’s personal life has been also fraught with controversy.
He has been married twice, with his first wife, Linda, the mother of his two children.
In 2009, he married the mother-in-law of his first daughter, who is now his wife of nine years.
The couple have been divorced three times.
In 2012, Joyce became the first governor to publicly declare he was gay, which angered some in the gay rights community, but he was able to maintain his job.
The governor, who was reelected in November, is the third governor in Alaska to run for statewide office and has already won two election races, and the first Democrat to do so since 2003.
On Tuesday, Joyce’s opponent, Republican Matt Cramer, said he supported the governor’s stance on gay marriage.
“I’m not a politician.
I’m a businessman,” Cramer said in an interview with The American Reporter.
“And I’ve never been a big fan of gay marriage either.
But the state is a pretty diverse place, and I’ve got to go back and find a place that’s a little more inclusive.”
Joyce has also been outspoken about his opposition to the Alaska State Troopers union, a union that represents state troopers, and he has supported an effort to create a state fund to compensate troopers who have lost their jobs, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The union has opposed the governor, and Cramer has repeatedly argued that he should not be paid as much as other state employees.
Joyce, for his part, has taken a harder line on civil rights.
The last governor to hold office in the sparsely populated state, he has also pushed a bill that would require police chiefs to wear badges, and has called for an end to the death penalty.
In 2011, he proposed an amendment to a state constitution that would bar the use of the death-penalty as a punishment for felonies, but the measure died in committee.
“This is not about me,” Joyce told The American Press in 2013, in response to criticism that he had been too hard on the law enforcement community.
“My job is to serve the people of Alaska.”
The Cordovan Herald is a local news organization based in Cordova.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.