Retiring state senator not taking it easy

Posted: Sunday, December 31, 2000

BARROW (AP) -- Retiring state senator Al Adams won't be taking it easy for long.

The Kotzebue Democrat has been hired as economic development manager for the North Slope Borough's mayor's office. He will work out of Anchorage.

Adams' lengthy political career has been motivated by rural economic development issues, and the new job will keep him in the fight. He will be dealing with issues such as oil and gas projects, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and natural gas transportation.

''After 20 years in the Alaska Legislature, Al knows as much about rural development as anybody in the state,'' Mayor George N. Ahmaogak said. ''He understands the challenges, and he knows how to pursue the opportunities. Our villages will need his expertise.''

Part of Adams' duties will be to promote participation of Native corporations in resource projects and to help build economic development partnerships on a village and regional level.

Adams spent 12 years in the Senate and eight in the House. When he announced his retirement, he said he would miss the wheeling and dealing at the Capitol, where he is revered as a deft tactician.

When Democrats held control of the Senate, Adams reigned supreme as the sole chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the panel that debates virtually all bills of substance.

''I love the fight,'' Adams said. ''Sometimes there are victories. I love politics. I know I'm going to miss it.''

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