TOP GUN HEADS TO JUNEAU
There’s a new Mike in town. The Senate Republicans this morning confirmed Mike Shower as senator for District E, replacing Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla. Shower will be sworn in next week.
Shower, a retired US Air Force pilot and now a FedEx pilot, had been nominated by his district Republicans after their first round of nominees got tangled up in politics in the Governor’s Office. Gov. Bill Walker rejected Todd Smoldon and Rep. George Rauscher, and had nominated Tom Braund of Sutton, who withdrew within 24 hours to care for a loved one who is ill.
Shower’s name came up in the first round of nominations in January, but he was a new Republican and he was skipped over for the “top three” names to be sent to Walker. Shower’s name came up again in the second round, but a question arose as to where his voter registration as a Republican actually was.
Shower had filled out a new voter registration on Jan. 13 at his District 10 Republican convention, and it was hand delivered to the Division of Elections. But the information was not entered into the system. He then registered again online.
After some confusion, the Division of Elections found his original paperwork, which showed that he indeed had changed his registration on Jan. 13.
Shower will stay in Wasilla and attend a town hall meeting with the Mat-Su delegation at 10 am on Saturday at the Palmer Senior Center, before heading to Juneau.
He replaces Mike Dunleavy, who resigned to run for governor.
“The Senate will soon be made whole again with the addition of Mr. Shower,” said Senate President Pete Kelly. “Alaska is home to more military veterans per capita than any state in the Union, and we hope Mr. Shower brings that culture of service to the Legislature as he works on behalf of the people of District E.”
Shower served in the U.S. Air Force for two decades as a pilot where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the first squadron of F-22s at Elmendorf Air Force Base. As Squadron Commander, he led the first successful F-22 intercept of a Russian aircraft in 2007.
“The Senate stood tough for the people of District E and we appreciate that Mr. Shower was chosen through the traditional process,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche. “His military service to this country is exemplary, making him well suited for today’s tough decisions. We’re looking forward to working with Mr. Shower to address the problems that face Alaskans.”
Reached at his home in Wasilla, where he was caring for his wife Michelle after she had major surgery on a broken leg yesterday, Shower said he was also busy answering phone calls, and he is excited about getting to work for the people of Alaska.
“I guess when God tells you you’re going to get involved, He goes big,” he observed.