Walker selects Air Force vet for Dunleavy Senate seat
Gov. Bill Walker has selected a former Air Force lieutenant colonel as his latest pick for a vacant Mat-Su state Senate seat.
Walker named FedEx pilot Mike Shower to replace former Sen. Mike Dunleavy, who stepped down to run for governor. Shower was among a new list of candidates sent to Walker last week by the Republican Party.
A resume for Shower says he once commanded Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s 90th Fighter Squadron, during which he oversaw the Air Force’s first intercept of a Russian aircraft with an F-22 Raptor fighter jet.
Shower said Tuesday that he was honored by Walker’s appointment.
“I’ve always felt the need to serve,” he said. “If you’ve ever read the book Sheep, Sheep Dogs and Wolves, I’m kind of a sheepdog. I like to serve and to help.”
The Senate Republicans must next vote on Shower’s appointment. The 13 Republicans are under no deadline to vote, but Senate President Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) said in a statement that the majority "will meet soon to consider the appointment."
Shower said had been in touch with Kelly’s office and was still getting caught up on what’s next.
“A week ago I certainly didn’t see this coming,” he said. “This opportunity came up and I looked at it a chance for me to get involved in the process.
“I can be like a lot of folks and I have been for a long time sitting on the couch and either complaining about where things are going or I can try to get involved and maybe help and make a difference.
“I’ve just always wanted to be the guy that helps and gets involved. We are in a democratic republic and it takes citizen involvement and that’s kind of what I believe in.”
Shower is the third name Walker has forwarded to Republicans.
The governor first appointed Randall Kowalke, but Kowalke was not among the three names submitted by Mat-Su GOP voters and the Republicans refused to confirm him.
Walker then appointed Tom Braund, who withdrew his name for consideration a day later amid scrutiny of incendiary Facebook posts emerged in which he demanded that “abortionists” be executed with scissors and claimed to remember life in the womb.
"The governor and the administration were not aware of Mr. Braund’s controversial social media posts which would have disqualified him from consideration," Walker's office said in its Tuesday statement on Shower's appointment.
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