Alaska Senate Republicans confirm Revak for open Senate seat

Josh Revak accepts congratulations after he won a Republican primary in August 2018 in a race to join the Alaska House of Representatives. On Saturday, Alaska Senate Republicans voted to confirm Revak to fill a vacant Senate seat. (Photo by Nat Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The Alaska Senate Republicans voted Saturday to confirm Rep. Josh Revak to fill a vacant Senate seat in Anchorage.

Revak was sworn into his Senate position by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer on Saturday afternoon. He replaces Chris Birch, who died on Aug. 7 from heart complications.

Revak said he emphasized to the senators the need to compromise.

“When we look at issues, we have to balance the policy with sort of the public sentiment, you know, in all of the issues that we’re dealing with,” he said. “There’s some serious issues — some folks look at things real analytically. Others just look at things politically, and finding a balance between the two, I think, is important.”

Revak was Dunleavy’s second choice for the seat. Senate Republicans did not confirm his first pick, Rep. Laddie Shaw.

Senate President Cathy Giessel said she welcomes Revak to the Senate.

“We feel that he knows how to bring folks together from all areas of the political spectrum, and he has demonstrated a desire to find real solutions that work for Alaska,” Giessel said.

Revak has been a state representative since January.

Revak’s South Anchorage seat in the state House of Representatives will become vacant when he takes the Senate seat. District 25 Republicans are expected to forward recommended replacements to Dunleavy.

After Dunleavy has chosen a replacement, the 22 remaining House Republicans will decide whether to confirm the choice.

This story has been updated.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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