New AG: Beth Kerttula or Marcia Davis? - Must Read Alaska
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New AG: Beth Kerttula or Marcia Davis?

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Beth Kerttula

Kerttula: Obama loyalist and oil industry foe

Former House Rep. Beth Kerttula is being discussed by Juneau insiders as Governor Bill Walker’s next pick for attorney general for Alaska. An announcement will be made Tuesday afternoon at the governor’s press conference.

Kerttula, a lifelong Democrat, served as Juneau’s representative from 1998 until she resigned in 2014 to accept a fellowship at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford Junior University, her alma mater. She had been passed over by then-Gov. Sarah Palin when a Senate seat opened up. That seat was awarded to now-Sen. Dennis Egan.

Kerttula left the Stanford fellowship after just a few months to become the Obama White House ocean czar.

Her father is former state senator Jalmar “Jay” Kerttula.

When she was in the legislature she was the only legislator who voted against a resolution in support of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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Davis: Engineered the win for Walker

Marcia Davis

Marcia Davis

The other top choice being discussed throughout the Capitol is Marcia Davis, currently the deputy chief of staff for the governor.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission filed a complaint against her for hiding sources of money to help Bill Walker win in 2014.

The complaint, dated Nov. 3, 2015 alleged Your Future Alaska Inc. was created specifically “to ‘sanitize’ campaign money.

It is illegal under state statute and regulation to use a third party to hide the source of a campaign donation.

The complaint stated that YFA gave $21,000 to Alaskans First, which had the same officers as YFA.

There were a tangle of other offenses in the case, which Davis was able to settle with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

The Republican Party of Alaska called for Davis’ firing because of her unethical behavior. However, Grace Jang, the governor’s communications director, said her past actions had no bearing on her role in the governor’s office.


Gov. Walker’s first attorney general left quickly last week, with one day of notice. Craig Richards said he needs to spend more time with his family.

“With great reluctance, I have accepted Craig’s resignation,” Governor Walker said in his press release. “When I appointed Craig in December 2014 as Attorney General, I knew Alaskans would benefit from his deep respect for the law and his vast knowledge of finance. As the state’s top attorney, work has pulled him away from his 3-year-old son, and I am grateful for the sacrifices he and his family have made in service to Alaska. Given Craig’s knowledge of gasline issues, I’m certain the state will continue to benefit from his oil and gas expertise as we push toward completion of a project.” (Underline ours)

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as Attorney General,” said Attorney General Craig Richards in the governor’s press release. “I support the Governor and was honored to serve as the head of the State’s legal team. My reasons for leaving are personal. I feel I need to re-focus on my family, which is impractical given the travel and workload requirements of the job. The Department of Law has top notch lawyers, and I know the State is in good hands with these devoted public servants.”

Jim Cantor, who is Deputy Attorney General, is acting Attorney General until the appointment is made on Tuesday.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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