Walker names man who recalls life in womb to vacant Senate seat

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Gov. Bill Walker gave in to Senate Republicans and named a Sutton man who claims to remember being in his mother’s womb to fill a vacancy in the Legislature’s upper body.

The appointee, Tom Braund, was recommended by Mat-Su Republicans.

In his letter to Senate Republicans, Walker said his original pick for the open seat, Mat-Su Assemblyman Randall Kowalke, remained the most qualified for the position.

But the Senate rejected Kowalke Wednesday morning and told Walker to accept the choices of Mat-Su Republicans.

Walker said he relented rather than face continual rejections of his picks.

In a resume provided to reporters, Braund described himself as a Marine tank commander who once patrolled the perimeter of the U.S. Base in Guantanamo, Cuba. He says he’s also a firefighter.

On Facebook, Braund said he came to believe that abortions were bad but executions were proper.

“Life begins at conception,” he said in a position paper posted on Facebook. “How do I know? I remember being in the womb and can testify that I could think, feel, see and hear.”

He said that the term “abortion” shouldn’t be used when a fetus must be removed to save a mother’s life. “Since it is unintentional that this baby should die, that medical term needs to be changed to an Emergency Medical Strategy,” Braund wrote.

Braund said he attended Dallas Theological Seminary, where he studied Christian education, church “planting,” marriage and family, and youth problems.

The Senate seat became vacant when Sen. Mike Dunleavy resigned to pursue a run for governor. He was one of Walker’s harshest critics over Kowalke and said in a prepared statement that Walker had substituted “his own judgment for the views of local leaders.”

Braund was one of three people on a list sent by Republicans in Dunleavy district to Walker.

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