Rep. Laddie Shaw receives nod to succeed late Sen. Chris Birch
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has nominated House Rep. Laddie Shaw to succeed the late Sen. Chris Birch, announcing his choice on a brief Facebook live broadcast.
"Laddie has the experience and has the desire to serve Senate District M as their senator," Dunleavy said in his broadcast.
The Senate's 12 Republicans must now vote on Dunleavy's nomination.
In a news release, Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, said the Republicans will meet sometime next week to consider Shaw.
The Alaska Republican Party selected House Rep. Laddie Shaw, former Sen. Dave Donley, who also serves on the Dunleavy administration, and Albert Fogle, who lost to Shaw in last year’s primary.
Others interested in succeeding Birch included House Rep. Josh Revak, Birch’s daughter Tali Birch Kindred and Beans Café Executive Director Lisa Sauder.
Dunleavy could have chosen from the three-person list or name his own candidate. The governor had until late next week to decide.
Historically governors have occasionally either worked off a different list or sought another set of names, sometimes creating a messy process.
If the Senate Republicans accept Shaw, then the Alaska Republican Party must conduct another search, this time for Shaw's House seat.
"We are extremely grateful for the leadership Rep. Shaw brought to our caucus this session.," House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, said. "He's one of the most honest, loyal and respectable men that has ever served the Alaska legislature, and we wish him all the best as he serves his district and our state in the Senate."
Shaw took to social media saying it's an honor to be nominated.
"I am deeply cognizant of the honor done me by this nomination. I know there were many people who encouraged Governor Dunleavy to put my name forward -- I'm overwhelmed by your support, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart," he wrote. "I'm also aware that I have large shoes to fill in following the tenure of the late Sen. Birch. His integrity, grace, and cheerfulness in service are an example I will work hard to live up to."
On Thursday, the last bill Birch sponsored, introduced and secured passage for was signed into law by the governor. Senate Bill 83, nicknamed "The Birch Bill," updates regulations for the telecommunications industry.
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