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Alaska Legislature

Alaska Senate Republicans reject Walker’s pick to replace former Mat-Su state Sen. Dunleavy

Alaska Senate Republicans said Wednesday they rejected Gov. Bill Walker's appointee to replace former Mat-Su state Sen. Mike Dunleavy.

Last week, Walker appointed Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assemblyman Randall Kowalke to fill the District E seat held by Dunleavy.

Randall Kowalke. Courtesy Mat-Su Borough.

Kowalke and Dunleavy are both Republicans. But in appointing Kowalke, Walker broke with tradition by passing over a list of three candidates suggested by Mat-Su GOP members, who met last month to consider 11 applicants.

Senate Republicans, who must confirm Dunleavy's replacement before he or she can be seated, said in a statement Wednesday morning that they had rejected Kowalke. They did not provide a tally of votes.

"We believe the people of District E should be given an opportunity to fill the seat with a candidate they support through the traditional process, which is designed to respect the will of the voters," the statement quoted Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, as saying.

Walker, according to state law, now has 10 days to pick another replacement. Dunleavy's seat has been vacant since Jan. 15.

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