Senator Mike Dunleavy (R – Wasilla) announced last night that he will resign from the State Senate to focus on his race for governor. He made the announcement at the Alaska Republican Party Trump Gala at the Petroleum Club in Anchorage.
Dunleavy entered the race for governor last year but then suspended his campaign for health reasons. However, on December 21, 2017 he announced on Facebook Live that his health had improved and he was getting back in the race. If you have not seen the Facebook Live video, I highly suggest checking it out. Speculation that he would resign has been in the air since he jumped back in the race.
Dunleavy was first elected to the state senate in 2012. He left the Senate Majority Caucus last April because of his opposition to the budget. The majority requires members to vote for the budget. After, he lost his seat on the finance committee and has since been a lone wolf in the senate. So it is not altogether surprising he would resign to focus on his race for governor. This will not only give him time to focus on his campaign, but will also allow him to not be stuck in Juneau and raise money. Legislators cannot fundraise during a legislative session.
Once he officially resigns, the Alaska Republican Party will send 3 names to Governor Bill Walker to choose from to fill his seat. The house reps in his senate district are Representative David Eastman (R – Wasilla) and Representative George Rauscher (R – Sutton). Should one of them be chosen, Walker would then have to do the same to fill their seat.