Foster gets Finance seat

Neal Foster was sworn in on Monday to a state House seat formerly held by his father, Richard Foster, who passed away Oct. 13.

House Democrats confirmed Foster on Sunday, and the House Minority Caucus said he'll also fill the important House Finance Committee seat his father held.

Neal Foster announced he will caucus with the 14-member minority, comprised of most House Democrats. Three Bush Democrats caucus with the Republican majority, as did Richard Foster.

Because Neal Foster opted to join the minority, it gave the Democrats a fourth Finance seat. Also on the nine-member committee are Rep. Woodie Salmon of Chalkyitsik and Anchorage Reps. Les Gara and Harry Crawford. Rep. Reggie Joule, a Democrat from Kotzebue who caucuses with the Republicans, also sits on House Finance.

Gov. Sean Parnell selected Neal Foster from a list of three candidates forwarded by District 39 Democrats to replace Richard Foster.

Neal Foster lives in Nome, where he owns Foster Properties and serves on the Nome City Council -- a position he'll have to resign now that he's a state lawmaker.

Contact Rena Delbridge at rena_alaskadispatch.com.