Three finalists named to replace Westlake in Legislature

The Alaska Democratic Party has announced three finalists to fill the vacant seat in the Alaska House of Representatives left by the resignation of Rep. Dean Westlake, R-Kiana.

The three finalists are Leanna Mack of Utqiagvik, Sandy Shroyer-Beaver of Kotzebue and Eugene Smith of Kotzebue.

The finalists were selected from among eight applicants by a nine-member committee of House District 40 Democrats after an interview process. Their names were announced Wednesday afternoon.

Under state law, Gov. Bill Walker has until Jan. 24 — 30 days after Westlake’s resignation — to appoint one of the three to the vacant seat. That person must then be approved by a majority of the 16 Democrats who sit in the chamber.

Westlake, elected in 2016, resigned from the Alaska Legislature after several women said they had been sexually harassed by him in Juneau. KTUU-TV reported other cases of sexual harassment before his arrival in Juneau, and that Westlake fathered a child with a teen girl in the 1980s. Two women and one man are the finalists to replace him.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


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