Balash named acting DNR commissioner

ANCHORAGE — Joe Balash has been named as the acting commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Gov. Sean Parnell announced the appointment in a statement Tuesday.

The position became vacant Tuesday when Commissioner Dan Sullivan’s resignation became effective. There is speculation Sullivan may run for the U.S. Senate.

In his resignation letter to Parnell last month, Sullivan said he intends to seek ways to serve his fellow Alaskans as he explores “new opportunities and challenges” in the next phase of his life.

The governor’s office says Balash has been deputy DNR commissioner, and before that was a special assistant to the governor for energy and natural resource development issues.