Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly member Randall Kowalke was appointed Friday by Gov. Bill Walker to the state Senate.
Kowalke is a Republican and a retired businessman who lives in Willow. He would fill the seat vacated by Mike Dunleavy in January when he resigned to focus on running for governor.
A majority of the 13 Republicans in the Senate must vote to support Kowalke before he can be seated. If they don’t agree to the pick, Walker will have to choose another person.
Kowalke was not one of the three people that the District E Republican Party nominated for the position. They were state Rep. George Rauscher, Anchorage teacher Todd Smoldon and organic food worker Tom Braund.
The other Mat-Su senators, David Wilson and Shelley Hughes, issued a joint statement saying they were “disappointed with Gov. Walker’s decision to circumvent the traditional process.”
Governors traditionally have chosen replacement legislators from three district party nominees. But not every replacement has been made through this process. Most recently, Walker picked District 40 Rep. John Lincoln despite him not being one of the three local party nominees.
- It would cost a lot more to pay the full amount under the formula – $840 million.
- the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said about 22 contaminated sites still need to be cleaned up in the Ketchikan-Gateway Borough.
- The company’s owner, Kunniak Hopson, moved to Chugiak 11 years ago from Utqiaġvik, which she calls Barrow. When she was growing up, her family always put McCormick’s Salt ‘n Spice on maktak, which is frozen whale blubber and skin. But McCormick’s stopped making it and she had to find an alternative.
- A set of massive whale bones rests on the bottom of the Newport, Oregon, bay. Scientists from Oregon State University put them there with a plan for a future display on shore. But they’re having trouble finding the money to retrieve the rare blue whale skeleton from beneath the waves.