Bruce Botelho

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Bruce M. Botelho
Mayor of Juneau, Alaska
In office
October 27, 2003 – October 11, 2012
Preceded by Sally Smith
Succeeded by Merrill Sanford
In office
October 1988 – October 1991
Preceded by Ernest E. Polley
Succeeded by Jamie Parsons
Alaska Attorney General
In office
January 12, 1994 – December 2002
Governor Wally Hickel
Tony Knowles
Preceded by Charles E. Cole
Succeeded by Gregg D. Renkes
Personal details
Born (1948-10-06) October 6, 1948 (age 68)
Juneau, Alaska
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Maria De Guadalupe Alvarez
Children Alex, Adriana
Profession lawyer

Bruce M. Botelho (born October 6, 1948) is an American attorney and politician in the U.S. state of Alaska. He served as the mayor of Juneau from 1988 to 1991 and from 2003 to 2012. Born and raised in Juneau, where his father was a top official of the Alaska Highway Patrol, Botelho has pursued concurrent careers in law and politics, largely with success. Botelho, in 2012, is finishing his third consecutive term as mayor, having first been elected in 2003. He also previously served a term as mayor from 1988 to 1991, defeating former Alaska Secretary of State Robert W. Ward in the election. He spent most of his professional career as an employee of the Alaska Department of Law. He rose to the top position in the department in 1994, when Governor Walter Hickel appointed him to be the Alaska Attorney General. Retained by Hickel's successor, Tony Knowles, Botelho served as Attorney General for nearly nine years before retiring from state service.

Early life[edit]

Bruce M. Botelho was born in Juneau, Alaska, on October 6, 1948.[1] He was raised in that city and in Anchorage, graduating from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1966, after which he attended school in Germany as an exchange student. He graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a Bachelor of Arts in German Literature in 1971. Botelho then went to law school and graduated from Willamette’s School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1976.[2] He also earned a ZP (Germanistik), at Ruprecht Karl Universität in Heidelberg, Germany.[1] He married the former Maria De Guadalupe Alvarez, known as Lupita, and they have two children, Alex and Adriana.[1] Bruce is an accomplished international folk dancer.[2]

Early career[edit]

During law school, Botelho clerked for the office of Oregon Legislative Counsel, the Oregon Law Improvement Commission and Alaska Supreme Court Justice Edmond Burke. Immediately following law school, in 1976 Botelho was appointed an assistant attorney general in the Alaska Department of Law, where he represented the departments of commerce and economic development and revenue. In 1978 he was promoted to section supervising attorney for the human services section which provided legal services to the departments of health and social services, labor and education. He served as counsel to the state board of education. In 1983 he was appointed deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue, a position he held until May 1986. There he oversaw the state's tax programs, child support enforcement, permanent fund dividends, charitable gaming, and alcohol beverage control.[2]


Juneau Assembly and first mayoral term[edit]

Botelho began his political career in 1983 when he was elected to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly. He was elected as mayor of Juneau in October 1988, serving until October 1991.[2]

Alaska Attorney General[edit]

Botelho had returned to the Alaska Department of Law in mid-1987 as supervising attorney of the oil and gas section. In February 1992 he was appointed as deputy attorney general for Alaska. On January 12, 1994 he was appointed by Governor Walter J. Hickel as Attorney General and confirmed by the Alaska Legislature that May. In December 1994, Governor Hickel was succeeded by Tony Knowles, who asked Botelho to continue in office. He served until December 2002. As Attorney General, Botelho chaired the Criminal Justice Council and served as a trustee to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. He also chaired the Children’s Confidentiality Task Force, the state team on state-tribal relations, the Governors Conference on Youth and Justice, and co-chaired the Criminal Justice Assessment Commission. He served as chief of staff for the Governor's Task Force on Civil Justice Reform and the Governor's Subsistence Task Force. He was an initial trustee of the Alaska Children's Trust. Major accomplishments of his tenure included oil and gas tax and royalty settlements in excess of $3 billion, settlement of the Alaska mental health lands trust litigation, lifting of the blockade of the Alaska state ferry Malaspina, Alaska’s participation in the national tobacco litigation, natural resource and environmental protection actions against Tyson Seafood Group and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and reinvigorated antitrust enforcement including propane litigation and the Carrs-Safeway grocery and BP Amoco-Arco mergers.[3]

Return to Juneau mayoralty (2003–2012)[edit]

In October 2003, he was elected to his second term as mayor of Juneau. Botelho was re-elected in October 2006 and again in October 2009.[2] Botelho left office in 2012 after being term-limited. He was succeeded by Merrill Sanford. With 12 years served as mayor, Botelho is the longest-serving mayor in Juneau's history.[4]

Walker transition team[edit]

Botelho was tapped to serve on Bill Walker's gubernatorial transition team in 2014. He served as temporary coordinator for the transition effort, serving into the first weeks of Walker's administration as the new governor appointed, removed, and retained a number of state government appointees.[5]

Walker's running mate, Democrat Byron Mallott, is also a former mayor of Juneau.[6]

Other memberships and awards[edit]

Botelho is a member of the Tongass Futures Roundtable, serves on the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission, is a director of the Alaska Municipal League and president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. He is a former trustee of the Alaska Permanent Fund, an original trustee of the Alaska Children's Trust, and former chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General. He has been an active participant in Scouting, having served as president of the Southeast Alaska Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and in numerous other volunteer Scouting capacities.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Elections 2006 Juneau Municipal Candidate Detail Page". Elections 2006. Morris Communications Inc. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hasselbring, Bobbie. "Bruce Botelho: Problem-solver". Alumni Close Up. Willamette University College of Law. Retrieved 2006-11-19. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Past Attorney's General. State of Alaska. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Miller, Mark (14 October 2012). "End of an era as Botelho prepares to leave City Hall". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Herz, Nathaniel (January 20, 2015). "Fish board chairman Johnstone resigns; commercial fisherman Maw picked to replace him". Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ Moritz, Katie (January 12, 2015). "Juneau shines and glitters at inaugural ball". Juneau Empire. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles E. Cole
Alaska Attorney General
Succeeded by
Gregg D. Renkes