JUNEAU, Alaska — Randall Hoffbeck, the commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Revenue, has announced that he is resigning to focus on ministry work.
Hoffbeck’s last day will be Aug. 17. Deputy Commissioner Jerry Burnett will serve as interim commissioner until a successor to Hoffbeck is named by Gov. Bill Walker.
Hoffbeck was one of the first appointments Walker made after winning office in 2014. Hoffbeck, whose resume includes work in appraisals and tax administration, was serving in Kenya with his wife on a short-term medical mission at the time.
Hoffbeck said he has known Walker for 25 years and considers him a good friend.
“My heart’s in ministry, serving the Lord,” Hoffbeck told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “And this was kind of, when the governor taps you on the shoulder and asks, it’s pretty hard to say no.”
In his resignation letter, dated Monday, Hoffbeck wrote that it is time for him to “complete the call to ministry God has placed on my heart.”
Walker said he accepted Hoffbeck’s resignation reluctantly.
“While we in the administration will certainly miss Randy, I know that his wife, Cindy, his sons and two grandchildren will greatly appreciate that he can finally prioritize time with family,” Walker said in a release.
Hoffbeck said he had a sense of being done after a special session last month in which lawmakers addressed oil and gas tax credits that had become widely seen by state political leaders as unaffordable. He said he didn’t have the energy to gear up for the next fight.
“I just kind of felt like I’d reached the end,” he said.
He said he regrets not being able during his tenure to deliver a complete fiscal plan to resolve a multibillion-dollar budget deficit that has persisted amid low oil prices. While responsibility for that doesn’t rest solely with him, “that was my baby,” he said.
For the past two years, legislators have wrestled with how best to address the deficit. Rating agencies have cited the lack of resolution in downgrading the state’s credit rating.
Hoffbeck, who said he had begun taking steps toward being ordained in an Evangelical Presbyterian church when he was tapped by Walker, said he hopes to help churches in crisis, those where a pastor has left or those that are fractured.