House Democrats Confirm Kito To Downtown Juneau Seat
Sam Kito III is now at work as the newest member of the Alaska Legislature.
He replaces Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula, who resigned her House seat last month for a Stanford University fellowship.
House Democrats Tuesday morning confirmed Sam Kito III to the legislative seat vacated last month by Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula.
Minority Leader Chris Tuck said Democrats were unanimous in their decision.
Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday appointed Kito to the seat.
The governor asked Democrats to take their vote on the House floor. But the minority met Monday night in closed caucus then Tuck announced the decision Tuesday on Gavel Alaska, statewide television coverage of the legislature.
With pen in hand, Tuck said party confirmations have been announced by letter for the past 25 years.
“And with that right now I’d like to sign a letter to both the governor and to the Speaker of the House announcing Sam’s replacing Beth Kerttula in the House Democratic 32 seat,” Tuck said.
Kito will fill in for Rep. Harriet Drummond on the Education as well as Community and Regional Affairs committees. Drummond is absent from the capitol for a family medical emergency. Tuck said Kito will continue on Community and Regional Affairs when Drummond returns.
He inherits Kerttula’s longtime staff members, Ken Alper and Hannah McCarty. Alper was one of nine Juneau Democrats to apply for the seat. Tongass Democrats nominated Kito, Jesse Kiehl and Catherine Reardon.
Kerttula left the job on Jan. 24 for a Stanford University fellowship. It took a month to fill the seat, but Tuck said the small House Minority did not lose any strength while down a member.
House District 32 encompasses downtown Juneau and Douglas, Petersburg, Gustavus, Skagway, and Tenakee Springs.