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Ron Miller, head of the state redistricting board, dies suddenly at age 65

Posted: May 9, 2011 - 9:24pm

ANCHORAGE — The director of the state board responsible for redrawing legislative districts, Ron Miller, died Sunday from an apparent heart attack at age 65, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.

He was executive director of the Alaska Redistricting Board, which must redraw the House’s 40 districts and the Senate’s 20 districts. The districts are being redrawn to conform with population shifts reflected in the 2010 U.S. Census. The board faces a mid-June deadline to come up with the final reapportionment plan.

Miller was decent, smart and thoughtful, said Michael White, the board attorney.

“He took very much to heart some of the criticism the board was getting,” White said. “Ron’s goal was to get a plan that could hold up in court, and that was the goal he worked for the entire time.”

Miller was pronounced dead early Sunday at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, said another longtime friend, John Tichotsky. He had no history of heart trouble, Tichotsky said.

The redistricting board now must figure out how to do its work without him.

White said he planned to meet Monday with board chairman John Torgerson to discuss how to continue doing the board’s work without Miller.

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