House minority leader Chris Tuck, flanked by most of the House of Representatives Democrats, announced Monday the confirmation of Sam Kito III to fill Juneau’s vacant seat.
Tuck, D-Anchorage, said it was a “quick and unanimous” decision for the Democratic Caucus which met late Monday. Most of the conversation centered on how to go about announcing the decision and the process, he said.
Republican Gov. Sean Parnell had asked the minority to restore an old tradition of confirming appointed representatives with a vote on the House floor when he announced Kito’s appointment Friday.
But Tuck and his colleagues opted to stick with a more recent tradition dating to 1990. They instead wrote letters to the House speaker and governor informing them of the confirmation.
Kito is expected to be sworn in during the Wednesday floor session, and he will be able to vote on legislation immediately after. He plans to retain former-Rep. Beth Kerttula’s staff which includes an oil and gas expert in Ken Alper.
Kito will fill-in for Rep. Harriet Drummond, D-Anchorage, on the House Education and Community and Regional Affairs committees while Drummond is in Anchorage for a family medical situation.
He will stay on only the Community and Regional Affairs committee when she returns.