Alaska in Brief

Gov. Dunleavy appoints new Representative to House District 40

By: - November 8, 2023 10:37 am

The setting sun over Kotzebue Sound is seen on an evening in 2010. (Photo provided by Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed Kotzebue Republican Thomas Baker to fill the House District 40 seat left vacant by Josiah Patkotak when he resigned to become Mayor of the North Slope Borough last month.

The Republican members of the Alaska House of Representatives will vote to confirm Baker’s appointment.

Baker ran for Alaska Senate in 2020 and lost. He served on the Kotzebue City Council and as the Vice-Mayor of Kotzebue. He was also a tribal council member for the Native Village of Kotzebue.

Baker graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English and later earned a Commercial Driver’s License through Northern Industrial Training in Palmer.

He is a resident of Kotzebue and works as a construction operations manager for the Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation. He is the chair of the Northwest Arctic Subsistence Regional Advisory Council for the Federal Subsistence Management Program.

According to a news release, the Governor’s office encouraged any qualified Alaskan living in HD 40 to apply for the seat, and then the Governor met with applicants to “weigh their qualifications.”


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Claire Stremple
Claire Stremple

Claire Stremple is a reporter based in Juneau, Alaska. She got her start in public radio, first at KHNS in Haines and then on the health and environment beat at KTOO in Juneau. Her focus for the Beacon is education and criminal and social justice.