Updated: See the press release below.
I’m on vacation and didn’t make the press conference where Bill Walker and Byron Mallott announced a transition team. And two hours and a half hours after the fact, I still haven’t gotten a press release, though I hear that it’s coming. (I’ll post when I get it). But this is what I know from the buzz:
The co-chairs are Ana Hoffman, co-chair of AFN and CEO of Bethel Native Corp., and former Republican Senate President Rick Halford. It’s interesting to note that both live in rural Alaska. Hoffman lives in Bethel and Halford in Aleknakik.
Dillingham. (He represented Eagle River when he was in the Legislature.) Most recently, Halford is a pilot and has been engaged with Trout Unlimited and has been active in the fight against the Pebble Mine.
The transition team’s immediate attention will focus on policy issues, not personnel issues, so don’t expect big hiring/firing announcements this week.
Sources close to the Walker-Mallott team continue to say that they’re reaching out to some of Gov. Sean Parnell’s people, but there are no specifics yet.
As I said, I’ll update when I learn more.
Update: Rachel D’Oro from the AP was at the press conference. She wrote that the “candidates struggled to expound on what appears to be a vague transition process.” Then again, as Halford pointed out, it’s hard to be anything but vague when the results of the election are still vague. Gov. Sean Parnell is down by 4,004. However, he still claims to have a chance and hasn’t conceded yet.
Here’s the press release from the campaign:
Today at campaign headquarters, Bill Walker and Byron Mallott announced the co-chairs of their transition team: Ana Hoffman and Rick Halford.
Ms. Hoffman is from Bethel, where she was also born and raised. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She currently serves as the president and CEO of Bethel Native Corporation, co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and serves on the Alaska Native Village CEO’s Association Board.
Walker, who introduced Ms. Hoffman at the press conference this afternoon, noted: “I am so pleased to have Ana join our transition team. She brings incredible experience and knowledge to the table, particularly on issues impacting rural Alaska and Alaska Natives.”
Mr. Halford lives in Chugiak and Aleknakik. He served in the Alaska legislature for over 20 years, with multiple terms as Senate President and Senate Majority leader. Mr. Halford is a commercial pilot though he logs most of his hours commuting between Aleknakik and Chugiak. He is a former Republican National Committeeman for Alaska.
Mallott introduced Mr. Halford stating: “Rick is a man of integrity. His extensive history in the Alaska State Legislature is vital to us as we plan for the next administration. We are honored to have him serve as co-chair of our transition team.”
Walker noted at the outset of today’s press conference that “while the outcome of the election is not yet certain, the constitutional timeline requiring the governor to be sworn in on December 1st is fast approaching, In recognition of that deadline, we have begun the preliminary steps toward transition so that in the event Byron and I are sworn into office, that transition can be as smooth and efficient as possible.”
Ms. Hoffman and Mr. Halford then addressed the following topics to be discussed once the transition team assembles later this month:
Rural National Guard Revitalization
Arctic policy and climate change
Natural resources and the environment
Oil & gas
These categories will become subcommittees within the transition team. The subcommittee members will be comprised of Alaskans with diverse backgrounds relating to the assigned topic. The task facing the transition team co-chairs this week is to contact Alaskans who have been identified as potentially serving on the transition team and notify them to assemble in the coming weeks upon a successfully completed vote tabulation.