Walker appoints new candidate for Dunleavy seat
After Senate Republicans declined to confirm Governor Bill Walker's first appointment for the District E Senate seat left vacant by Mike Dunleavy, the governor late Wednesday announced a new appointment.
Thomas Braund, of Sutton, is the name Gov. Walker forwarded to Senate Republicans.
In a statement Wednesday, Walker's office said, "the move ensures timely representation rather than a protracted political battle."
Braund is one of the names Republicans initially forwarded for consideration for the appointment.
According to Braund's resume, which was shared by Walker's office, Braund served in the Marine Corps, worked for the Department of Homeland Security and served as a firefighter in New Jersey.
"Senate Republicans made the unfortunate decision to reject Randall Kowalke. I remain convinced he was the best candidate who stepped forward and expressed interest in the job, but I now believe Senate Republicans will continue to reject anyone I appoint, no matter how qualified, unless that person’s name is on the list provided to me by the Republican Party. As such, I have appointed Thomas Braund to fill the vacancy. This ensures the people of Senate District E will have full representation during the legislative session," Gov. Walker's statement read.
Micicche said the vote-- taken behind closed doors and without a disclosed tally-- was never about Kowalke’s credentials.
“It belongs to the people of District E and this morning’s vote was simply a request that the governor goes back to the people of District E for additional names if he’s unsatisfied with the first three," Micicche said Wednesday.
Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock Tuesday went as far as comparing Walker to a North Korean dictator for bypassing the list of names given to him for consideration, saying, "I’m sure Kim Il Jong (sic), the North Korean dictator, thinks what he’s doing is best for the state, too. I mean that’s exactly what kings and dictators everywhere say. 'I alone know what’s best for the state.'"
Dunleavy resigned his seat to pursue gubernatorial ambitions.
Steve Quinn contributed to this report from Juneau.
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