Outgoing House Rep. Dan Saddler has resigned a little more than a month before his term would expire, after accepting a communications director post with the Department of Natural Resources.

In an email to House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, Saddler made the resignation official as of 5 p.m. Friday. For Saddler, it’s a return to DNR, where he once served as a project assistant who helped with external communications.

But with the new job, Saddler will also be tasked with helping Commissioner Designee Corri Feige work with state lawmakers to advance any legislation.

“That’s really exciting because one of Gov. Dunleavy’s platform planks was to make sure to use resources to build a stronger economy and provide jobs to Alaska,” Saddler said. “That’s been my goal throughout my work in the Legislature.”

The Eagle River Republican will have served eight years in the House, including two years as the House Finance Committee vice chair. 

He sought to succeed Sen. Anna MacKinnon, who opted to retire, but lost the August primary to fellow Eagle River Rep. Lora Reinbold, effectively leaving him out of state government.

Saddler could have pursued his old seat because Nancy Dahlstrom, who won the race to succeed Saddler, accepted a post as the Department of Corrections commissioner. Saddler, who volunteered with Dunleavy’s transition team, said he briefly thought about expressing interest in another two years but he had already begun chartering a new path.

“I was looking for opportunities to help this Republican governor succeed,” Saddler said. “My skill set and experience dovetailed very well in working with the DNR commissioner’s office, so I turned my sights and my thoughts in that direction.”

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