The Alaska Republican Party will narrow down its search for a candidate to succeed the late Sen. Chris Birch.

The party hopes to select three names that would be forwarded to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who has until Sept. 7 to nominate a name for a vote by the 12 Republican senators.

The field includes House Reps. Laddie Shaw and Josh Revak, who serve in Birch’s South Anchorage district.

It also includes former Sen. Dave Donley and Birch’s daughter Tali Birch Kindred.

But another high-profile name — this one known for social services work — has emerged: Lisa Sauder, executive director for Bean’s Café.

Sauder said she believes her work history in social services, tourism and banking allows her to bring a breadth of experience to the Senate.

She said she knows she’s among a strong field.

“I think it’s great that there’s that much interest in the seat,” she said. “I think it really shows that Alaskans want to be engaged in the process. They’re looking for leadership and I’d be honored to have my name put forth like that.”

The appointment will last through the close of the current legislative term, which has another regular session next year.

Sauder said she would run for re-election if she were to be appointed.

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