Governor Laments Ongoing Lack of Representation for Juneau
On the 80th day of the 90-day legislative session, Governor Sarah Palin today called on Senate Democrats to make haste in voting on her second designee to fill the vacant seat in District B, representing the City and Borough of Juneau.
"Juneau residents are lacking representation in the Senate as final decisions are made on the budget and other important matters," Governor Palin said. "Democratic senators rejected my first pick for Senate District B. I urge them not to drag their feet on approving the new designee. Filling this seat is important to the residents of Southeast and all Alaskans."
After two interviews with Joe Nelson, Governor Palin nominated him to fill the seat left open by the resignation of Kim Elton, who left to advise President Obama. Nelson is admissions director at the University of Alaska Southeast and a board member of Sealaska Corporation, the regional Native corporation in Juneau. He is married to former Bethel Rep. Mary Nelson.
"It is certainly my hope that this well-qualified designee, who clearly loves Alaska, will be accepted by the Senate Democrats in the very near future," Governor Palin said. "But whatever their decision will be, they need to ensure Juneau residents that this seat will be filled in a timely manner."
A longstanding legal opinion from the Department of Law holds that Senate Democrats should vote on the governor's designee in an open and public manner.