Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Governor's second nominee for Alaska Senate Thomas Braund's fitness for office was questioned after social media posts came to light where he appeared to advocate for the murder of abortion providers.
Braund cited personal reasons for the decision to withdraw his candidacy. Vicki Chaffin Wallner, State Rep. George Rauscher and Todd Smoldon are currently on the list of three candidates submitted for review by republican leaders in the district.
Walker's earlier nominee Randall Kowalke was rejected by Senate republicans.
Walker, a one-time Republican no longer affiliated with a political party, offered no endorsement of Braund, but said he believed Senate Republicans "will continue to reject anyone I appoint, no matter how qualified, unless that person's name is on the list provided to me by the Republican Party."
The appointment was condemned by Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner over a reference to violence toward abortion providers that Braund apparently made on social media.
A Facebook post reported by KTVA news said that if he "had the reins ... abortionists and all their accessories would be hunted and executed with scissors cutting their hearts out. Oh, I forgot, they don't have hearts." The post was no longer visible.
Senate Republicans urged Walker to go back to the district for more names if the initial list was unacceptable to him.
Mr. Rauscher also defended himself at a press briefing Tuesday of a photo taken of his office with a sign that read BDSM free zone, which refers to bondage, domination and sexual fetishes, the day a story came to light that then State Rep. Zach Fansler had been accused of assaulting a woman in a Juneau motel room.
Rauscher said he felt that hiding behind the term BDSM as a reason for hitting a woman was wrong and that is why he posted the sign.
The Governor did request republicans submit two additional names for consideration.