Head of the Alaska Department of Administration resigns, seeks run for Murkowski’s US Senate seat

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2019 file photo, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner...
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2019 file photo, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka addresses reporters in Anchorage, Alaska.(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM AKDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 11:13 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Kelly Tshibaka, the commissioner for the Alaska Department of Administration, has resigned from her job effective immediately. She also announced plans to run for the Alaska U.S. Senate seat that’s currently held by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office sent out a press release acknowledging that the governor accepted Tshibaka’s resignation, and that Amanda Holland will be the department’s acting commissioner.

Tshibaka, who was born and raised in Alaska, has been leading the department since early 2019. She replaced former Commissioner Jonathan Quick.

It was an honor to serve my State. Thank you, Governor Dunleavy, for the opportunity.

Posted by Kelly Tshibaka on Monday, March 29, 2021

Tshibaka posted about her resignation on social media on Monday.

“It has been an honor to serve for a little over 2 years as the Commissioner of the Department of Administration,” Tshibaka wrote in a letter addressed to the governor. “I am submitting my resignation, effective immediately, so that I may pursue other endeavors.”

According to the Associated Press, Tshibaka said she is running for U.S. Senate “for the Alaskans who believe government is of the people, by the people and for the people. The D.C. insiders need to be held accountable to us.”

Murkowski has held the seat since 2002, when she was appointed by then-Gov. Frank Murkowski, her father. She won her race for the seat in 2004 and in 2010, though she lost her Republican primary, she went on to win the general election with a write-in campaign. In 2016, she won reelection with 44% of the vote.

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