Dunleavy appoints steadfast supporter Mike Prax to North Pole House seat

Something might be going on in there.The Alaska State Capitol building as photographed in 2010. (Photo by Kimberly Vardeman/Creative Commons)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Tuesday he has appointed Glenn “Mike” Prax to fill the House District 3 vacancy, replacing Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson after she resigned to take a job in the administration.

Prax is a former member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly and one of the most conservative figures in Fairbanks-area politics. He’s been an outspoken supporter of Dunleavy during his first term in office, calling the Legislature’s failure to override Dunleavy’s vetoes “a significant victory the Dunleavy Administration and the legislators who stood tall with him.”

“Mike Prax has demonstrated for many decades that he has the experience, knowledge and leadership abilities to make an effective legislator for the North Pole area,” Dunleavy said in a news release. “He also understands and reflects the values of its residents, so I am proud to appoint him to the House District 3 seat.”

Prax was one of three candidates forwarded by North Pole Republicans for consideration to fill the vacancy. It’s not the first time he made the list. He was one of the three nominated to represent North Pole in 2009 amid a legislative shuffling that saw then-Rep. John Coghill move to the Senate, but Gov. Sean Parnell ultimately selected Wilson.

Prax’s nomination will need to be approved by House Republicans. Though the chamber’s Republicans are split between the bipartisan Majority Coalition and the Republican minority, they unanimously supported the confirmation of Rep. Mel Gillis in December.

Dunleavy has had several opportunities to appoint Republicans to the Legislature: He appointed Rep. Sharon Jackson to replace Nancy Dahlstrom who resigned before she could be sworn in to take a job with the administration; Sen. Josh Revak to replace Sen. Chris Birch, who passed away last summer; and Rep. Mel Gillis to replace Revak’s spot in the House.

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