The Latest: Elections head backtracks on party switch timing
Feb. 21, 2018
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on efforts to fill an open Alaska Senate seat (all times local):
The director of Alaska's Division of Elections is backtracking on when a state Senate nominee changed his party affiliation.
Josie Bahnke had said Mike Shower changed his party affiliation from undeclared to Republican Wednesday morning.
But later Wednesday, Bahnke said in an email to The Associated Press that a paper form with a change of party affiliation had been "making the rounds" between division offices. She says the effective date for the party switch was now considered Jan. 13. Bahnke didn't immediately respond to a request from the AP for more information.
The Jan. 13 date consistent with what state GOP Chairman Tuckerman Babcock said. He said Shower filled out a voter registration form at a district convention last month to change his party affiliation after it was pointed out he wasn't a registered Republican.
This is the latest twist in the drama to fill the Senate seat vacated by Wasilla Republican Mike Dunleavy.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has re-nominated Mike Shower for an open Senate seat after questions were raised about the timing of Shower's switch to the Republican party.
Walker says Senate Republican requested the re-nomination after Shower's formal change in registration.
Walker had nominated Shower Tuesday after two failed efforts to fill the seat previously held by Wasilla Republican Mike Dunleavy. State law says a person appointed to an open seat must be from the party of the prior office holder.
The Division of Elections says Shower officially changed his affiliation Wednesday from undeclared to Republican.
State GOP Chairman Tuckerman Babcock says Shower filled out a voter registration form at a district convention last month to change his party affiliation to Republican. He was unsure if the paperwork was submitted or lost.
The Alaska Division of Elections says the man picked by Gov. Bill Walker to fill an open state Senate seat changed his party affiliation from undeclared to Republican Wednesday morning.
Walker picked Mike Shower to replace Wasilla Republican Mike Dunleavy, who resigned. State law dictates that Dunleavy's replacement must be Republican.
State GOP Chairman Tuckerman Babcock says Shower filled out a voter registration form at a district convention last month to change his party affiliation after it was pointed out that he wasn't registered as a Republican.
He says Shower was then elected a precinct leader and Republican delegate to the state convention.
Babcock says he's not sure if the paperwork was submitted or if it was lost. But he says the party has no concerns with Shower's status.