Who is third in line to governorship? This guy.

Jason Brune

Now that Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom are sworn into office, who is third in line, should something happen to either of them?

That would be Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation Jason Brune. Brune was appointed third in line after former Education Commissioner Michael Johnson resigned earlier this year and moved out of state.

By law, the governor of Alaska appoints that “third in line” person from his cabinet, and it’s something this governor takes seriously, sources told Must Read Alaska, especially after former Gov. Bill Walker’s disastrous end to the term of the late Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. Not that Dunleavy expects anything to happen to his lieutenant governor.

As the lieutenant-governor successor, Brune will need to be confirmed in that role by the Alaska Legislature this session, which starts in mid-January. He has been in the successor role since July without confirmation. Brune has been the commissioner of DEC since December, 2018. Prior to his appointment, Brune was the senior director of land and resources at Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI), an Alaska Native Corporation. Brune oversaw and participated in the development and administration of CIRI’s 1.6 million acres of subsurface resources, including oil, gas, minerals, sand and gravel, and coal. He supervised the team’s staff, environmental contractors, stakeholder management, and legal review, while building relationships with CIRI’s villages. Brune also worked to identify priorities for addressing contaminated lands. Prior to working at CIRI, Brune worked for Anglo American as the company’s public affairs and government relations manager.


  1. It’s not as if he would do any worse than the second in line! But neither would he be our savior–that is, if you’re scratching around for one!

  2. Let’s not forget that Palin didn’t take it seriously either. When she announced her resignation in 2009, she said that Craig Campbell would replace Sean Parnell, seeming to forget the same process as it applied to her administration. She had selected Corrections commissioner Joe Schmidt and he was confirmed by the legislature. Since her resignation was covered mostly by national news, such “local yokel” details really didn’t matter to them. The attempts to explain away this faux paus was pretty hilarious at the time.

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