SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Governor Names Grussendorf to Senate Seat
Democrats Not Happy With Pick


March 31, 2009

(SitNews) - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Sunday named Tim Grussendorf as her designee to replace Kim Elton as the state senator from District B, representing the City and Borough of Juneau. Grussendorf has worked as a commercial fisherman and serves as chief of staff to Alaska State Senator Lyman Hoffman. He is currently president of the Southeast Alaska Fishermen's Alliance and a board member of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association. Grussendorf is active in the Juneau community, volunteering his time to coach soccer and basketball teams. He is the assistant basketball coach at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Grussendorf's father, Ben Grussendorf, was a representative from Sitka and served as Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives.

"Tim's solid credentials and thorough understanding of the issues facing our state will serve his constituents well," Governor Palin said. "I am confident he will be able to hit the ground running."

Governor Palin said she appreciates the interest shown by so many qualified applicants for the position. "It is encouraging so many dedicated Alaskans stepped forward to offer their services to the constituents of District B and the State of Alaska," said Governor Palin. "I'm confident the good people of our capital city can look forward to Tim joining Representatives Kerttula and Munoz in fine service."

Grussendorf is married with two teenaged sons who are involved in Juneau sports teams. He must be confirmed by a simple majority of Senate Democrats.

Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins on Monday said in a prepared statement, "The Alaska Democratic Party is disappointed but not surprised that the Governor rolled over the local constituents and showed complete disrespect for the voters."

Higgins said, "In Alaska we have a strong tradition that, when we have to replace a member of the Legislature, the local political party of which the legislator was a member nominates individuals for the Governor's consideration. We are disappointed that Palin chose to disregard the value and relevance of local input, which prior Governors as well as Palin herself have respected on previous occasions."

"We urge the Governor to respect the local community and the people of Juneau and make a choice they would support," said Higgins.

In picking Grussendorf, Palin is rejecting Rep. Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau). Kerttula is the only name recommended to the governor by southeast Democratic leaders after Elton resigned to take an Interior Department position in Washington, D.C. with the Obama administration.



Source of News:

Office of the Governor

Alaska Democrats


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Ketchikan, Alaska