Dunleavy aide lays out Senate seat selection process

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - In response to media inquiries regarding the process for filling the vacancy in Senate District M, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s press secretary, Matt Shuckerow, offered a statement on the process on Thursday.

    According to Shuckerow, on Tuesday, Aug. 27, Gov. Dunleavy plans to interview the three individuals nominated and submitted by Alaska Republican Party Districts 25 and 26.

    After a marathon meeting Wednesday and a special session to interview applicants, the Alaska Republican Party forwarded three names to be considered for the late Sen. Chris Birch's seat.

    The applicants selected are Albert Fogle, Rep. Laddie Shaw and Dave Donley.

    "The governor takes seriously his role in filling this vacancy and will conduct a thorough and complete review before making a final determination," Shuckerow said. "He hopes to make a final decision by the end of August."

    Shuckerow added that Gov. Dunleavy will consider "many different areas and criteria" when making this appointment, including history and involvement in District M, civic engagement and relative experience, integrity and commitment to following the law, and viewpoints on policies such as government spending, resource and economic development, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and other issues that will impact Alaska residents beyond just District M.

    A total of eight applicants vied for the seat left vacant when Birch passed away unexpectedly earlier this month.

    The additional five applicants were Birch's daughter, attorney Tali Birch Kindred, Rep. Josh Revak, Anchorage resident and business leader Lisa Sauder, District 26 GOP chair Mike Robbins, and APOC chair and attorney Anne Helzer.

    Once Gov. Dunleavy selects a finalist, the 12 Republicans in the Senate will vote to confirm the applicant. Seven votes are needed for confirmation.

    The governor is not bound to select any of the three names on the submitted list, though to do so would be highly irregular.


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