HEALY, Alaska — Denali Borough Mayor Dave Talerico announced Tuesday that he is resigning as Denali Borough mayor to take a job with Rep.-elect Doug Isaacson.
Talerico will become chief of staff for Isaacson, a Republican from North Pole. Isaacson easily won the race for District 1, which generally covers the Richardson Highway from North Pole to Salcha, in Tuesday’s election.
Talerico’s resignation will be effective on Dec. 12. Two years remain in the term.
The Denali Borough Assembly will have to appoint a replacement for the position until a special election can be held to elect a new mayor.
“It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, for sure,” Talerico said.
Talerico is the longest running mayor since Denali became a borough 22 years ago, serving three full terms and now in the midst of a fourth term. He became mayor in November 2002, following Mayors Rick Brewer and Johnny Gonzales.
Talerico is confident someone else in the borough will take the reins with full confidence.
Talerico said he agreed to Isaacson’s offer to come to Juneau because of Isaacson’s passion about serving Alaska and improving life for everyone, including residents of the Denali Borough.
“The timing of these things don’t work out perfectly when you’re in elected office,” Talerico said.
Talerico ran against Alaska State Rep. David Guttenberg in the last election and lost by a narrow margin. Some voters told him they voted for his opponent because they didn’t want to lose him as mayor of the Denali Borough.
That surprised him.
“Nobody is ever going to do this forever,” he said.