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The Latest: Midwife board nominee says she has no agenda

April 5, 2018

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on Alaska legislative confirmations (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

A former Planned Parenthood field organizer picked by Gov. Bill Walker to serve on a board that regulates midwifery in Alaska says she’s not coming into the role with any agenda.

Kenni Linden says her own midwife encouraged her to apply for the public seat on the board. She says she’s passionate about access to midwifery care in Alaska, based on her family’s personal experience.

The anti-abortion group Alaska Right to Life has sent out email missives opposing Linden’s appointment, referring to her as a “former Planned Parenthood political operative.”

Linden says most of her experience with Planned Parenthood involved advocating for women’s health. She says she left the organization in 2016.

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9:10 a.m.

The Alaska Legislature plans to meet in joint session Tuesday to consider Gov. Bill Walker’s nominees for Cabinet positions and appointments to boards and commissions.

Walker has nominated Sheldon Fisher as Revenue commissioner; Leslie Ridle as Administration commissioner, and Mike Navarre as Commerce commissioner.

He also has chosen health commissioner Valerie Davidson to become lieutenant governor should that post become vacant. State law calls for a governor to make such an appointment.

Craig Fleener, who works in the administration’s Washington, D.C., office, has held that role, but Walker spokesman Austin Baird says Walker opted for the commissioner of a major department to hold it instead.

Anti-abortion activists are opposing Walker’s nomination of Kenni Linden to the Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives over her past work with Planned Parenthood.

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