Juneau Democrats are preparing to seek a replacement representative for the downtown Juneau House seat, acting as if it is likely that Gov. Sarah Palin will appoint Rep. Beth Kerttula to a vacant Juneau Senate seat.
The Democratic Party is advertising for people interested in being recommended for the House seat Kerttula now holds, said Rich Listowski, spokesman for the party.
"We are not making any kind of assumption, but we would hope the governor would appoint Beth," he said.
Possible candidates for the House include Jeff Bush, a Juneau Assembly member; Jesse Kiehl, finance aide in former state Sen. Kim Elton's office; Ron Clarke, aide to former Gov. Tony Knowles; and Kim Metcalfe, chairwoman of the Juneau Democratic Party.
Listowski said Metcalfe recused herself from the appointment process because of her interest in the nomination.
Kerttula said she does not favor a candidate among the group.
"They're all wonderful people," she said.
Listowski said the party expected to submit a list of three names to Palin for the appointment, if it is needed.
The Democrats reviewed multiple candidates to fill Elton's Senate seat, but unanimously agreed to recommend only Kerttula for the appointment. Palin chose to seek applications on her own in a process that concluded Friday.
Elton accepted a position with the Obama administration.
Under state law, Palin has 30 days to make the appointment, which must then be approved by the remaining Senate Democrats.
When Juneau Democrats made their selection of a single name, they established their own criteria beyond the legal minimums of being a resident of the Juneau Senate district and a registered Democrat.
They required applicants to have been a registered Democrat for at least one year, eliminating some candidates. Listowski said the party has included that requirement in its bylaws and will require a House nominee to meet the criteria as well. The Democrats' recommendation is not binding on the governor.
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