JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles has named Mike Abbott to be his new liaison to the Legislature.
Abbott, an economic development assistant, replaces Dwight Perkins, who quit Tuesday after being in the job for about two weeks. Perkins was charged last Thursday with two counts of harassment for allegedly making unwanted advances toward two women.
Abbott, 40, joined the governor's office in January 1997 to work as Knowles' special assistant for economic development. He also worked with the Legislature on business and resource development issues.
For most of the 1990s, Abbott worked for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., which operates the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. As the company's government relations coordinator, he was a registered lobbyist and occasionally served as spokesman, among other duties.
Abbott said he plans to focus on a variety of issues, including ''economic development, quality education, continuing our progress on children's issues, and providing the state services that Alaskans depend upon.''
Knowles said Abbott has strong ties with the Legislature and business community alike.
''He has a solid background in government relations and a track record of working with lawmakers on a bipartisan basis, both of which are necessary to assume this important job,'' Knowles said in a statement.
Legislative leaders agreed.
''Mike's a good choice,'' said newly named Senate Majority Leader Loren Leman, R-Anchorage. ''He comes with an understanding of the legislative process. I look forward to working with him.''
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