Walker names Anchorage lawyer as new chief of staff

first_imgGov. Bill Walker named a new chief of staff Wednesday, bringing in Anchorage lawyer Scott Kendall to replace Jim Whitaker, effective Dec. 2.Listen Now Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reporter Matt Buxton speaks to Jim Whitaker, outgoing chief of staff for Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, shortly before Walker’s inauguration in 2014. Whitaker will move from being chief of staff to senior adviser on major projects on Dec. 2. Scott Kendall will replace him. (Creative Commons photo by James Brooks)Kendall said he’ll be like a basketball point guard for Walker’s team, helping the administration achieve its goals.“I don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, but I like to facilitate decision-making to the right person at the right time,” Kendall said. “And I’ve always been able to kind of been able to bring people together to — I think — get to the right solutions.”Kendall has worked as an attorney and consultant for all three current members of Alaska’s congressional delegation. He also worked for Sen. Ted Stevens. His most recent job included coordinating Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s re-election campaign.Kendall has also worked with state-level politicians, including advising Walker’s election campaign, and working for Anchorage Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux. He said he works well across party lines.“I’m a Republican, my wife is a Democrat. We agree on 95 percent of the issues,” Kendall said. “It’s real simple: We’re Alaskans first.”Whitaker will continue to work for Walker on a project to provide natural gas to the Interior and other other initiatives.With the new hire, the governor’s office said “adjustments” will be made to keep the office on budget.last_img

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