Alaska House District 38 Democrats selected three potential nominees Sunday night to replace state Rep. Zach Fansler, who resigned earlier this month following assault allegations.
All three candidates have deep ties to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and two of choices are Alaska Native women.
The party’s nominating committee interviewed a total of five applicants, then voted on their top choices and ranked them in the order that they preferred.
The committee’s first choice is Tiffany Zulkosky, an executive at Bethel’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
When she was in her 20s, Zulkosky also was elected to serve as the youngest mayor in Bethel’s history.
The committee’s second choice is Yvonne Jackson, who grew up in the Y-K Delta’s villages and now manages job training programs at the Association of Village Council Presidents, the regional Native non-profit corporation.
Their third choice is Raymond “Thor” Williams, a former Bethel mayor and current city council member.
A seven-person committee was looking for someone with the experience to hit the ground running when they arrive in Juneau, according to Diane McEachern, who serves on the nominating committee.
In a series of 30 to 40-minute interviews, they asked applicants about their views on tribal sovereignty and subsistence priority.
The committee also asked candidates whether anything of concern might come up after a thorough background check.
According to McEachern, the committee was asked to submit the three names by Wednesday, February 21.
Alaska’s state Democratic Party must submit the three names to Gov. Bill Walker by March 5.
Walker must select Fansler’s replacement by March 14, though he is not obligated to choose any of the candidates that the party organization recommends.