The following people have submitted their letters of interest to Districts 9 and 10 Republicans to fill Senate Seat E, which is being vacated by Sen. Mike Dunleavy.
Those interested in serving as a senator for the Palmer-to-Valdez district are:
- Randall Kowalke, Mat-Su Borough Assembly member, District 10
- Tom Braund, retired, Sutton, District 9
- Bob Bickel – Realtor, Alaska Fine Homes and Real Estate, District 9
- George Rauscher, House of Representatives for District 9
- Todd Smolden, economics teacher, Republican District 10 precinct chair
- Doyle Holmes, business owner, Republican chair of District 10
- Mike Shower, pilot, District 10
- Thomas Arts, school custodian, Valdez, District 9
- Vicki Wallner, “Stop Valley Thieves” Facebook group co-director, District 9
- Eddie Grasser, Alaska Safari Club and NRA
- Jim Colver, former representative for District 9, who was ousted by George Rauscher in the 2016 primary.
Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, was asked by District 9 and 10 chairs Carol Carman and Doyle Holmes to be the chair of the selection committee. The committee may choose three or four names to forward to the governor by Monday night.
However, it is unlikely that Jim Colver’s name will be among them. Babcock reminded the committee that Colver had been sanctioned by the Republican districts in the Valley for forming a “Musk Ox” alliance with Democrats, and the entire party had also withdrawn its support for Colver. No action has been taken to rescind that vote by party members.
Babcock offered this in a written statement:
“Mr. Colver was an incumbent Republican Representative from District 9 in 2016. When Mr. Colver ran for reelection as a Republican in Primary, the District 9, District 7, District 8, District 11 and District 12 Committees voted to deny all support to his reelection and to endorse his Republican opponent in the Primary, George Rauscher.
“The State Central Committee of the Alaska Republican Party also considered the matter and then voted to withhold all support for his reelection and endorsed his opponent in the Primary. We actively and successfully campaigned against the reelection of Jim Colver in the Republican Primary for State Representative in 2016.
“The Alaska Republican Party and the Mat-Su Districts have not rescinded, or amended, those decisions.”
The deadline for applying for the seat was 5 pm Sunday. Sen. Dunleavy’s term ends on Jan. 15.
Dunleavy is going to focus on his run for governor, rather than try to represent his district while he runs for a statewide office. The governor will choose from among the names the District selection committee gives him. The legislative session starts on Jan. 16.
Sen. Dunleavy said, “The seat belongs to the people. I’m confident the process will end with a number of good names nominated by the district and sent along to the govenror, and that the governor and the Senate will move expeditiously to put a senator in place so the good people of District E will have representation.”
“It’s been a privilege and honor serving the constituents of District E,” Dunleavy said.