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Alaska attorney general nominee leaving state government less than 2 weeks after being appointed

  • Author: James Brooks
  • Updated: January 30
  • Published January 29

JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s pick to replace Attorney General Kevin Clarkson is withdrawing his name from consideration for the job and will be leaving state service, the governor’s office said Friday.

Ed Sniffen, the attorney general designee, was appointed on Jan. 18.

The statement from the governor’s office did not say why Sniffen is quitting, but did say the governor has appointed Deputy Attorney General Treg Taylor in Sniffen’s place.

Jeff Turner, the governor’s deputy communications director, said the governor “accepted Mr. Sniffen’s resignation for personal reasons” but said he does not know what those reasons were.

Sniffen has worked for the Alaska Department of Law since 2000 and had served as Alaska’s acting attorney general since August 2020, when then-attorney general Kevin Clarkson resigned after the Anchorage Daily News reported he sent hundreds of inappropriate text messages to a younger female state employee. Earlier this month, Dunleavy nominated Sniffen as Clarkson’s permanent replacement.

Taylor joined the Department of Law in 2018, becoming head of the department’s civil division at the same time Dunleavy appointed Clarkson. Before joining the state, Taylor was an attorney for ASRC Energy Services, a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Before taking that job in 2015, he was an in-house attorney at McKinley Capital Management and was an associate attorney for Delisio Moran Geraghty & Zobel, an Anchorage legal firm.

While at ASRC, he ran for Anchorage Assembly as a conservative candidate endorsed by former Anchorage mayors Dan Sullivan, Rick Mystrom and Tom Fink. He lost that race to John Weddleton, who still holds the seat.

Taylor’s appointment is subject to confirmation by a joint session of the Alaska Legislature. Lawmakers have rejected a governor’s choice only once, in 2009.

“Alaska is facing some unprecedented challenges and some remarkable opportunities,” Dunleavy’s statement said. “Treg Taylor brings to the office of Attorney General a wealth of legal experience and a deep commitment to Alaska that will be invaluable to navigating these challenges and opportunities. I also want to thank Ed Sniffen for his decades of service to the department and the people of Alaska. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

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