Ivy Spohnholz named to fill vacant Gruenberg seat

Governor Bill Walker named Ivy Spohnholz Tuesday as his choice to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Max Gruenberg in February.

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Spohnholz is the development director for Salvation Army Alaska, and is the vice chairwoman of the Alaska Children’s Trust, which aims to eliminate childhood abuse and neglect throughout the state.

Ivy Sponholz was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker Tuesday to fill a state House seat vacated after the February death of Rep. Max Gruenberg. (Photo courtesy of State of Alaska)
Ivy Sponholz was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker Tuesday to fill a state House seat vacated after the February death of Rep. Max Gruenberg. (Photo courtesy of State of Alaska)

Spohnholz says she wanted the job to address the state’s budget shortfall. Her goal is to avoid economic problems the state experienced in the 1980s. She says when she was a teenager, her parents divorced, and her family faced financial strains.

“I don’t want ever to go through that again and I wanted to be a part of the conversation, in hopes that we can start thinking about the Alaska that we want to have and, you know, not just the Alaska that, you know, is convenient for us to pay for.”

Spohnholz was one of the three people nominated by Anchorage Democrats for the position.

The House Democrats are scheduled to vote on her appointment either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. A spokesman for the caucus says she’s unlikely to face any opposition.

She says her first job is to learn about the budget proposals put forward by Walker and legislators.

She’ll also put her experience to work.