Gov. Walker's nominee to replace Dunleavy shunned by Senate Republicans

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JUNEAU (KTUU) Governor Bill Walker’s nominee to replace Mat-Su Republican Sen. Mike Dunleavy was not confirmed by Senate Republicans Wednesday morning.

Randall Kowalke was described by the governor as the best qualified Republican to do the job.

The announcement comes after Republicans in the Senate pushed the governor to reconsider his choice.

“We believe the people of District E should be given an opportunity to fill the seat with a candidate they support through the traditional process,” wrote Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) “The seat does not belong to us in the Senate, or the governor. The seat belongs to the people of District E.”

Kowalke was one of the 11 applicants but wasn’t one of the three nominees. In a letter released Tuesday Walker said he didn’t have to be.