Mike Shower confirmed to Dunleavy Senate seat

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

Senate Republicans have confirmed the appointment of Mike Shower to fill a vacancy in District E.

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Shower is a twenty-year veteran of the United States Air Force, and retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Senate President Pete Kelly praises Shower’s military service.

“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,” Kelly said.

Kelly and his colleagues sent a letter to Governor Bill Walker on Thursday announcing the confirmation, which was signed by all thirteen Senate Republicans.

Mike Shower’s confirmation puts an end to the back-and-forth between the governor and Senate Republicans over who would fill the seat vacated by Mike Dunleavy, who resigned in January to focus on his run for governor.

Walker’s first nominee was retired businessman and current Mat-Su Borough Assembly Member Randall Kowalke. While Kowalke was a legal choice, Republicans rejected his appointment, since he was not on the original list of three candidates provided to the governor by the party.

The next appointee for the seat, Thomas Braund, was on the shortlist. Shortly after his appointment, controversial statements Braund made on social media were widely reported. He subsequently withdrew his name from consideration, citing the need to care for a friend’s illness.

Shower’s name was on a new shortlist requested by Governor Walker. The other people who the Republican Party nominated were former Alaska Right to Life executive director Christopher Kurka of Palmer, storeowner Doyle Holmes of Palmer and businesswoman Vicki Wallner of Palmer.