FAIRBANKS - Eight candidates will be interviewed for the vacant post of Fish and Game commissioner, the executive director for the Alaska Board of Game said Tuesday.
Four candidates were going to be considered for the post until Gov. Frank Murkowski asked the selection committee to extend the application deadline to allow a wider range of applicants, said director Diana Cote.
"He just wanted to see a broader range of applicants," was all Becky Hultberg, the governor's press secretary, would say about extending the application process, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Kevin Duffy resigned as commissioner at the end of 2004.
Seven more people applied by last Friday's deadline, and on Tuesday the selection committee narrowed the field to a total of eight: the four original candidates and four new applicants.
Interviews will take place from now until the boards of fish and game meet March 6. The boards will select any number of those candidates to recommend to Murkowski for appointment, Cote said.
The four original candidates are acting commissioner Wayne Regelin; Fairbanks sport fish biologist Cal Skaugstad; state commercial fisheries director Doug Mecum; and Roland Maw, a commercial fisherman and executive director of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association based on the Kenai Peninsula.
All but Maw have worked for the Department of Fish and Game for more than 20 years.
The four new applicants who will be considered are David Bedford, a deputy commissioner for the department; McKie Campbell, a former deputy commissioner for the department; Robin Taylor, the former state legislator and outspoken advocate of state's rights regarding subsistence issues; and Eddie