New Rep. Sam Kito III takes oath of office

Sam Kito III sworn in
Speaker Mike Chenault (right) administers the oath of office to new Rep. Sam Kito III (left, with hand up) on Wednesday. (Screenshot courtesy Gavel Alaska)

Representative-nominee Sam Kito III became Rep. Sam Kito III on Wednesday.

“I won’t bite on the first day,” quipped Speaker Mike Chenault as Kito approached the Speaker’s dais.

“Congratulations, Representative Kito,” Chenault said after he finished administering the oath of office. That was immediately followed by cheers and applause from other representatives who were in attendance.

House Democrats issued a letter on Tuesday signaling that they concur with Gov. Sean Parnell’s appointment. Kito was named on Friday to fill out the term of former Rep. Beth Kerttula of Juneau who resigned last month for a fellowship at Stanford University.

Kito is a former civil engineer and lobbyist.

After the swearing in, the full House briefly recessed for a meeting of the Committee on Committees which formally approved Kito’s appointments to the Education Committee and Community & Regional Affairs Committee.

Sam Kito lll selfie w/Charisse Millett 2-26-14
Rep. Charisse Millett snaps a selfie with Rep. Sam Kito III on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives moments after Kito is sworn in. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Kito’s daughter, father, and friends — including former state Sen. Al Kookesh and former Juneau mayor and current gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott — watched the ceremony from a House gallery. Kito later rose to introduce them to his new colleagues.

Kito’s current district includes downtown Juneau and Douglas. Gustavus, Petersburg, Skagway, and Tenakee Springs are also part of the current House District 32.

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