JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has appointed Tiffany Zulkosky, an executive at a Bethel-based tribal health organization, to be the new state representative for a Southwest Alaska state House district.
Zulkosky, 33, is vice president of communications at Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. If confirmed by House Democrats, she'll replace Zach Fansler, who resigned this month after a Juneau woman accused him of slapping her in his hotel room.
Walker announced his appointment Thursday morning. He chose from a list of three candidates advanced by Democrats from House District 38, which is centered on Bethel but also includes nearly three dozen villages.
Zulkosky didn't respond to a request for comment.
She is of Yup'ik and Polish descent, according to a biography provided by the Alaska Democratic Party; she has a master's degree in public administration from University of Alaska Southeast.
She's worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and was also elected Bethel's mayor at age 24 — making her the youngest mayor in the city's history, according to KYUK, the Bethel public radio station.
"I'm proud and humbled to forward someone with such a compelling background and strong voice to House Democrats for consideration," Walker said in a prepared statement. "If and when she is confirmed, the district will be represented well."
If confirmed, Zulkosky's term will end in less than 12 months: She would have to run this year to keep the seat.
Separately, Alaska Senate Republicans said Thursday morning that they confirmed Mike Shower, Walker's appointee to fill a Mat-Su Senate seat once held by Mike Dunleavy, a Republican who resigned last month to run for governor.
Shower is a former Air Force fighter pilot. Walker officially appointed him twice — once earlier this week, and again Wednesday after state officials processed Shower's recent request to change his party registration to Republican.