Palin seeks more candidates for open Senate seat

JUNEAU — Gov. Sarah Palin isn't satisfied that Democrats offered Rep. Beth Kerttula as the only choice to fill the state Senate seat that opened when Kim Elton resigned for an Obama administration job.

So Palin is asking anyone else interested in the Senate seat to send her an application. "We know there are many qualified Alaskans who would fill this post enthusiastically," Palin said in a written statement.

Juneau Democrat Elton resigned last week to become director of Alaska affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Kerttula's was the only name Juneau Democratic leaders sent Palin to consider for the appointment.

It's traditional, but not required, for governors to follow the party recommendation when filling an open seat in the Legislature. But it's also been the practice in recent years to submit at least three names for the governor to choose from.

Kerttula has been highly critical of Palin since her run last year as the Republican nominee for vice president. But Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said the call for more names doesn't mean Palin won't pick Kerttula for the seat, just that the governor wants more choices.

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