Three candidates named for the late Sen. Birch's seat

Letter from AK Republican Party listing the three nominees. (photo courtesy Glenn Clary, AK GOP chair)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Three candidates were named by the Alaska Republican Party Wednesday night as nominees to fill the seat of Senator Chris Birch, who died Aug. 7.

They are Dave Donley, Albert Fogle, and Laddie Shaw.

Shaw is currently the state representative for District 26, Fogle ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for that same house district in 2018, and Donley is a former Anchorage School Board member who was appointed by Governor Dunleavy as a deputy commission in the Alaska Division of Administration.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy must make a final decision before Sept. 7 to meet a 30-day deadline to replace Birch.

Alaska Republican Party chair Glenn Clary said eight prospective candidates made presentations before the District 25 & 26 committees during an executive session. The three nominees were selected in an open session of district members, during a meeting that was not open to the public.

Birch's daughter had applied to fill his vacant seat, but was not on the list of nominees released Wednesday night.

Tali Birch Kindred announced the decision to apply following the death of her father.

Birch Kindred said she is aligned with many positions held by her father and fellow Republican, including diverting money from Permanent Fund dividends to help pay for government services.

Clary declined further comment on the selections, saying it was up to the local district committees to select the nominees.

Governor Mike Dunleavy's office said Thursday he plans on interviewing the three nominees next Tuesday, and that he hopes to make a final decision by the end of August.

Matt Shuckerow, the governor's press secretary, wrote in an email "Governor Dunleavy will consider many different areas and criteria when making this appointment, including: history and involvement in District M, civic engagement and relative experience, integrity and commitment to following the law, and viewpoints on policies such as government spending, resource and economic development, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and other issues that will impact Alaska residents beyond just District M."

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