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Gov. Mike Dunleavy was sworn into office late Monday morning in Kotzebue, launching a new adminstration that looks to guide the State of Alaska for the next four years.
We wish the new governor well in successfully administering Alaska’s state government. Competent and fiscally sound management can benefit every Alaskan, and we hope that maintaining a lean, well-functioning government is and remains a central goal of the Dunleavy administration.
We wish the new governor well in the transition from electioneering to governing. Almost every incoming chief executive finds that the actual job differs from the pre-conceived notion. Unforeseen events can challenge plans and upend strategies.
Even Monday, Dunleavy’s plan for being sworn into office in Noorvik was denied by the weather. As he was being sworn in in Kotzebue, the state’s major population center in Anchorage was dealing with the widespread damage of a 7.0 earthquake that occurred on Friday, followed by more than 1,500 aftershocks thus far. And on Monday morning, the Alaska Department of Revenue released its preliminary fall 2018 revenue forecast, which noted that the markets for oil — the commodity that produces most of the revenue for the State of Alaska — are experiencing unexpected volatility and that oil prices in November suffered the largest monthly price decline by percentage in a decade.
Standing tall is lovely for campaign slogans and statues. What’s required now is the ability to adjust to realities on the ground, quickly devise new strategies for moving forward, and buckle down to implement them.
Again, we wish the new governor every success in accomplishing those endeavors on behalf of Alaskans. In these things, Gov. Dunleavy’s success will be the state’s success.
Time will tell. For the moment, Gov. Dunleavy has a clean slate and party majorities in the Alaska Legislature (albeit a razor-thin majority in the House). The honeymoon could be short, however, as earthquake damage and oil price volatility provide immediate tests for the incoming administration.
We hope in four years to look back with appreciation at a job well done by Gov. Dunleavy and his administration. For now, we wish you godspeed, governor, and good luck.