Walker appoints USAF veteran to Dunleavy Senate vacancy

Lt. Col. Mike Shower prepares for an F-22 Raptor training sortie. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Wolfe)

Governor Bill Walker has appointed retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Shower to fill the vacancy in Senate District E. Shower lives in Wasilla, and currently works as a pilot for FedEx.

Listen now

Mike Shower is the third person appointed by Walker to fill the seat once occupied by Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy resigned from the seat in January to focus on his campaign for governor.

Governor Walker’s first choice was Mat-Su Borough Assembly Member Randall Kowalke. Kowalke submitted his name to the local branches of the Alaska Republican Party for consideration, but was not on the list sent to the governor. Senate Republicans rejected his appointment and insisted that Walker pick someone from the list provided by the party.

Walker’s second choice was Thomas Braund of Sutton, whose name was on the party list. Shortly after the appointment, various media outlets reported controversial social media posts by Braund. Thomas Braund removed his name from consideration for the seat shortly thereafter, citing the need to care for a sick friend. Governor Walker said he did not approve of any of the three original names submitted, which also included current Representative George Rauscher and teacher Todd Smoldon.

Mike Shower’s name was on a second list that the Alaska Republican Party sent to the governor. According to his resume`, Shower served for twenty years in the United States Air Force after graduation from the Air Force Academy. The appointment will now go to Senate Republicans for approval.

Shortly after the appointment was announced, Senate President Pete Kelley said Senate Republicans [QUOTE] “Appreciate the prompt selection of Mike Shower from the candidate list provided by the Republicans of Senate District E.” [END QUOTE] Kelly says Senate Republicans will meet in the near future to consider the appointment.