House chambers at the Alaska State Capitol on Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

House chambers at the Alaska State Capitol on Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Confirmation hearings for empty House seat scheduled for early December

House Republicans will discuss confirmation of Mel Gillis to fill vacant seat

House republicans are planning to hold confirmation hearing for Mel Gillis, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s pick to fill a vacant House seat.

The seat was vacated when Sen. Josh Revak, R-Anchorage, left the House for a Senate appointment that was recently confirmed. Revak was selected to fill the seat of Sen. Chris Birch, was died unexpectedly of a heart attack in August.

Revak was confirmed after Senate Republicans failed to confirm Dunleavy’s original pick Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage.

Gillis’ confirmation hearings are planned for Dec. 2, Zach Freeman, press secretary for the Alaska House Republicans, told the Empire Wednesday afternoon. Freeman added that date was subject to change.

“Mr. Gillis has lived in Alaska for over 50 years and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that will make him an asset to the entire legislature,” Dunleavy said in a video announcement of the appointment on Nov. 17.

Gillis has owned and operated a hunting and fishing guide business since 1970 and is a member and leader of Plaster and Cement Masons Local 867, according to the announcement from the governor’s office.

Gillis will need a simple majority vote from House Republicans to be confirmed. Currently there are 23 Republican members of the House, so confirmation would take 12 votes.


• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.


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