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Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer's bid for governor brings to this race one of the most qualified persons to ever seek this office. In her career as legal counsel to the Legislature, assistant to the governor, mayor of Juneau, state representative, and lieutenant governor, she demonstrated her outstanding ability to bring all parties to the table for resolution of differing opinions and realistic compromise.
In her ever-increasing responsible positions she promoted realistic development of services to meet the needs of a population which was doubling in size from 301,000 in 1970 to 627,000 in 2000.
These included the statehood transition of services from the federal to state control, as well as developing new services to meet the burgeoning needs of education, public safety, corrections, health, resource development, and transportation among others.
Fran Ulmer is no stranger to budget cutting. In my five years as commissioner of Health and Social Services, she, as Gov. Hammond's policy development and planning director, twice monitored a departmental assessment with a 10 percent budget cut prior to its being included in the governor's budget.
She left a legacy of astute management and sound economic growth.
Helen D. Beirne