Chris Birch, one of the good guys

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Anchorage Republican state Sen. Chris Birch is dead at 68 after an apparent aortic dissection.

A retired engineer, Birch served on the Anchorage Assembly for nine years, representing South Anchorage, was elected to the House in 2016, and then to the Senate in 2018. He was chairman of the Resources Committee.

“This is a devastating loss to our state,” Senate President Cathy Giessel said in a statement early today. “Chris was a good, principled man of character, one who treated everyone with dignity and respect. You could always count on him to stand up for what’s right, regardless of the political consequences. His absence in the Capitol will be keenly felt by all who had the privilege to know him.”

At this critical time, as Alaska faces myriad challenges, Birch was a conservative, reasonable, widely respected voice in the Alaska Legislature. He was a good and decent man.

Alaska will miss him. We all will. He was one of the good guys.

Read more at the Anchorage Daily Planet.