Must Read Alaska has learned that Alaska Democrats have forwarded three names to Gov. Bill Walker for the District 40 House seat vacated by Rep. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue and Kiana.
They are Leanna Mack (maiden name Russell) of Barrow, Sandy Shroyer-Beaver and Eugene Smith of Kotzebue, shown from left to right in the photo.
The governor is likely to select his choice by Friday so that the chosen candidate can get to Juneau for confirmation when the House gavels in on Monday for its 90-day session. The House Democrats must approve of the governor’s choice before the individual can be sworn in.
Because the governor has been given two women’s names, it seems unlikely that he’ll choose Smith. It was Westlake who was asked to resign by his own Democrat-led caucus for harassing women, which makes it difficult for Walker to choose Smith over the two women’s names he was given.
The seat will come up for election next year. Westlake served less than a full year of his two-year term, after beating Ben Nageak of Barrow by eight votes in an election that many observers say was fraudulently run.