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Representative Mary Sattler Peltola announces Washington, D.C. staff changes

Washington, D.C. –  Today, Representative Mary Sattler Peltola announced the members of her official Washington, D.C. congressional staff while thanking three outgoing staffers who played a key role during her transition into office.  

“As I prepare to serve my first full term in the U.S. House of Representatives, I’m extremely proud of the team I’ve assembled in Washington, D.C. to work with me on behalf of ALL Alaskans,” said Peltola. 

After serving as her Interim Chief of Staff since September, Peltola has retained Alex Ortiz as her Chief of Staff. Ortiz most recently served as Congressman Don Young’s final Chief of Staff. He is originally from Ketchikan and previously worked for Senator Ted Stevens. Ortiz has served Alaskans for more than a decade on Capitol Hill.

“Since day one on my team, Alex’s strong relationships both in D.C. and back home have proven to be a major asset," Peltola said. “I’m grateful that he’s agreed to continue on as my Chief of Staff and continue his service to Alaskans. 

Elizabeth Othmer joins the office as Legislative Director and Counsel. Most recently, Othmer served as Legislative Counsel for New Mexico Representative Melanie Stansbury. Prior to that she clerked for two years at the New Mexico Supreme Court. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison before attending law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Othmer was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Simone Auger joins the office as a Legislative Assistant covering Natural Resources issues. Auger previously worked as Legislative Assistant for Congressman Kurt Schrader. Prior to her role as Legislative Assistant, she served as the 2020 Mark O. Hatfield Congressional fellow. She has a Masters in Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon and holds professional policy and leadership certificates from Arizona State University, Portland State University and Harvard Executive Education.

Logan Basner, who was previously a Special Assistant to Peltola in Anchorage, has been promoted to a Legislative Assistant for Transportation, Infrastructure, and Labor issues for the D.C. office. Basner was born and raised in Palmer. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Emily Larsen, who was previously a staff assistant for Peltola, has been promoted to a Legislative Correspondent. Born and raised in Maine, she recently graduated from American University, where she studied Justice and Law with a concentration in Terrorism and Security. She is currently working on a masters in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy.

Lauren Noland joins the office as a Legislative Correspondent. Noland has previously worked in the offices of Senator Lisa Murkowski and the late Congressman Don Young. She was raised in Chugiak and is currently continuing her education at Drury University, obtaining an Associate in Paralegal Studies and her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Penn State University. Noland is a U.S. Army veteran, military spouse, and mother of five.

Bre Klayum joins the office as Scheduler and Office Manager. Klayum previously served as Deputy Scheduler for Senator Dan Sullivan. She was born and raised in Eagle River and graduated from Montana State University with bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science. 

Peltola’s Senior Policy Advisor, Larry Persily, her Interim Communications Director, Josh Wilson, and her Interim Director of Scheduling and Operations, Paula Conru, will depart from the office.

“Ensuring a smooth and seamless transition for Alaskans was my top priority while I served out the remainder of Congressman Don Young’s term,” said Peltola. “Larry, Josh, and Paula were instrumental in helping me establish an office in D.C. and have worked tirelessly for Alaskans over the last several months. All three have a long record of public service and I’m extremely grateful for the time they spent in my office. I wish them all the best as they enter the next chapters of their lives.”