The Senate Republicans confirmed former Air Force pilot Mike Shower to take over Mike Dunleavy’s vacant Mat-Su District Senate seat, bringing a quick end to a series of bitter exchanges between Gov. Bill Walker and the Senate.

Gov. Bill Walker appointed Shower on Tuesday and was among a second round of nominees from the Republican Party.

“The Senate will soon be made whole again with the addition of Mr. Shower,” said Senate President Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) in a prepared statement. “Alaska is home to more military veterans per capita than any state in the Union, and we hope Mr. Shower brings that culture of service to the Legislature as he works on behalf of the people of District E.”

Shower served in the U.S. Air Force for two decades as a pilot where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the first squadron of F-22s at Elmendorf Air Force Base. As Squadron Commander, he led the first successful F-22 intercept of a Russian aircraft in 2007.

In 2010, Shower retired from the Air Force and currently flies for FedEx.

Shower holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration from Touro University.
The governor first appointed Randall Kowalke, but Kowalke was not among the three names submitted by Mat-Su GOP officials and the Republicans voted him down.

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.

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