Shuffle: Walker names long-time Begich aide to commissioner post - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, June 12, 2021
HomePoliticsShuffle: Walker names long-time Begich aide to commissioner post

Shuffle: Walker names long-time Begich aide to commissioner post

Former long-time Begich aide Leslie Ridle has been named commissioner of the Department of Administration.

The former commissioner, Sheldon Fisher, has moved to head the Revenue Department after the departure of Randy Hoffbeck from the Walker Administration.

Such shuffling is not uncommon in the final year of an administration. Earlier, Walker had to replace his attorney general and three commissioners of the Department of Natural Resources, Education, and Public Safety, when his earlier appointments quit.

Ridle has been acting commissioner for several weeks. Prior to that, she was deputy commissioner. Her appointment must be confirmed by the Legislature, but there is no indication she won’t be waved on through.

Leslie grew up in Douglas and Anchorage, according to the Office of the Governor. Her background includes teaching, as well as working for many years for former Sen. Mark Begich, Democrat, whom many are expecting will run for governor against Gov. Bill Walker.

Ridle is a well-known Democrat activist, and joined Begich this spring in cohosting a fundraiser for the Alaska Democrats at the home of former Gov. Bill Sheffield.

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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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