Sutton republican keeps party leadership role after controversial Facebook posts go public
The Alaska GOP says it will not strip one of its members of his leadership role in the party, after a social media post he made threatening to kill people who support abortion became public earlier this week.
The Republican party's district 9 precinct leader, Tom Braund, posted on Facebook that if he had the reins in Juneau, "abortionists and all their accessories would be hunted and executed with scissors cutting their heats out."
In a December post, Braund also asserts dogs are superior to women, noting, "if a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away."
Braund was one of the GOP's nominees to replace Mike Dunleavy in the State Senate. Gov. Bill Walker chose him Wednesday, but Braund quickly withdrew his name, after several media outlets reported on the Facebook posts.
"Sometimes people place posts that are a joke to them and it's in poor taste and they're not expecting to be in the public eye, and he would have had to explain each one of those, on the face of them, very disturbing posts," said Tuckerman Babcock, Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.
Babcock says he was not aware of Braund's controversial posts when the party submitted Braund's name as one of three nominees to fill Dunleavy's seat in January.
He says the party did not pressure Braund to withdraw his name, and Braund will maintain his leadership role within the GOP.
"People are very free to post whatever they want, and they have to be accountable for what they post and have to explain it," Babcock said.
The Alaska Democratic Party has also come under scrutiny regarding its vetting of legislative candidates after court documents revealed Dean Westlake -- a candidate the party supported in the 2016 election -- had impregnated a minor in the 1980s when Westlake was 28.
In December, The Democratic Party's Chairman said Alaska Democrats do not review candidates' court records nor have an obligation to do so.
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