Ellis said there were concerns about Grussendorf’s party affiliation. Grussendorf was a registered Republican until just weeks ago. He changed his registration to Democrat to qualify for appointment to the seat that opened when Juneau Democrat Kim Elton resigned for a job in the Obama administration.
Palin, who must choose a Juneau Democrat for the seat, appointed Grussendorf on Sunday. It was a controversial pick that the Democratic Party fought hard to block, saying state House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula should get the job instead.
Grussendorf ran for state office and lost in 2002 as a Democrat, and his father, Ben Grussendorf, is a former Democratic state House speaker. He said he never meant to be a Republican.
Grussendorf said he registered in 2006 as undeclared so he could participate in the closed Republican primary. His registration was then mistakenly changed when he wrote “Republican” on the absentee envelope that year, since that was the primary ballot he wanted, he said.
He said he didn’t know his Republican status until it became an issue for Elton’s seat, and he changed back to Democrat when he found out what happened.
Never heard that one before.