Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, has been named by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as director of Alaska affairs at the Department of the Interior.
Salazar said in a statement today that Elton “not only has a broad background in state issues but also a record of bringing competing interests together for collaborative and constructive decision making. This is a record that will serve the state and the country well.”
Elton submitted his resignation as a member of the Alaska Senate today, effective at 5 p.m. He reports for duty in Washington, D.C., March 16.
“The decision to leave our home, the community, and the state was difficult for Marylou and me,” Elton said in a statement, “but this is a new way to serve Alaska and the nation.”
His resignation ends 19 years in elective office. He was elected twice to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, twice to the Alaska House and three times to the Alaska Senate.
Elton also served as executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, assistant state ombudsman and senior staff to Lt. Gov. Terry Miller in the administration of Gov. Jay Hammond. He began his professional career as a newspaper reporter in Fairbanks during the oil pipeline construction years, was city editor in Anchorage and editor of his hometown newspaper, the Juneau Empire.
The governor has 30 days to nominate a replacement for Elton; her nominee must be accepted by the remaining nine Senate Democrats.