Murkowski releases list of possible successors

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski has released his short list of choices to replace him when he resigns from the U.S. Senate next month.

But with more than two dozen names, the list is hardly short and it includes everyone from his own daughter to a retired archbishop.

''These are names that have come forward for consideration. Some of the people I've talked to, some have been submitted by others. Some have come over the transom and it's quite a list,'' Murkowski said Friday during a chat with reporters in his Senate office in Washington D.C.

He said more names may be added to the list before he makes his decision.

Alaska's Republican-majority Legislature, anticipating Murkowski's successful run for governor, last year passed a law giving Murkowski the power to appoint his Senate successor. The law requires a five-day waiting period from the time a U.S. Senator resigns to the time his replacement can be appointed. Under the old law, outgoing Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles would have been allowed name a Republican replacement for Murkowski.

The list released Friday includes a number of prominent Republicans, including:

--Johne Binkley, Alaska Railroad board chairman and a former state legislator from Fairbanks.

--Steve Frank, Murkowski's campaign treasurer and a former state legislator from Fairbanks.

--Rick Halford, former state Senate president.

--Mark Hamilton, president of the University of Alaska and a retired army general.

--Jerry Hood, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Local 959 and a former Democratic National committeeman who switched parties and campaigned for Murkowski.

--Pete Kelly, former state senator from Fairbanks.

--Rick Mystrom, former Anchorage mayor.

--Drue Pearce, former state senator from Anchorage and a special assistant to Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

--Jeff Staser, former aide to Sen. Ted Stevens and co-chair of the Denali Commission.

--Ben Stevens, state senator and son of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. Ben Stevens was recently named state Senate majority leader.

--Lisa Murkowski, state representative and daughter of Sen. Murkowski, wh, who was recently named state House majority leader.

--Robin Taylor, state senator from Wrangell.

--Gary Wilken, state senator from Fairbanks.

--George Wuerch, Anchorage mayor.

--Gen. Joe Ralston, set to retire next month as NATO commander.

--Wayne Anthony Ross, Anchorage attorney and Murkowski's opponent in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

--Dr. John Troxel, Anchorage physician.

--Gail Phillips, former state representative from Homer and unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor.

--Archbishop Francis Hurley, retired archbishop of Anchorage.

--Charlie Cole, former state attorney general.

--Sarah Palin, former mayor of Wasilla and unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor.

--Jerry Mackie, lobbyist and former state senator.

--Mark Hanley, Alaska spokesman for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and a former state representative.

--Mike Miller, former state senate president from Fairbanks.

--Oliver Leavitt, chairman of the board of Barrow-based Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

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