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Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan to resign; will he run?

Alex DeMarban

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan announced his resignation Thursday morning, increasing speculation he'll make a bid as a Republican to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.

Sullivan has been a key figure in the administration of Gov. Sean Parnell, including serving as the state's attorney general from June 2009 to December 2010.

“In his role as attorney general and DNR commissioner, Dan has played a key role in getting big things done to strengthen Alaska's economy and families,” Parnell said in a statement. “As attorney general, Dan played a major role in the ‘Choose Respect’ initiative and fought hard against federal overreach.

“During his tenure as commissioner, Dan led the state’s efforts in resource development and permitting reform, and worked to resolve Pt. Thomson litigation -- setting the stage for a natural gas pipeline."

Thanking the governor for the opportunity to serve in his letter, Dan Sullivan said: 
"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve Alaskans as their Attorney General and Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources over the past four years.
"As I explore new opportunities and challenges in the next phase of my life, I intend to seek ways to continue to serve my fellow Alaskans."
The field of candidates eyeing Begich's seat so far includes Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller, who lost to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010. 

Commissioner Sullivan’s resignation is effective Sept. 24, the release said. A copy of his resignation letter is available here

Contact Alex DeMarban at alex(at)alaskadispatch.com