Braund withdraws as Alaska Senate nominee

    Juneau, AK (AP) - Gov. Bill Walker's pick to fill an open Alaska Senate seat has withdrawn from consideration.

    In an email to Walker, Thomas Braund cited personal reasons for his decision. He says he has a friend with needs and he is her provider.

    This follows a statement from Walker chief of staff Scott Kendall, who said Walker did not endorse Braund or the other two candidates sent to him for consideration by Republicans.

    Braund's nomination was condemned by Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner over incendiary comments he made about abortion. State GOP chairman Tuckerman Babcock says he was shocked by the pick.

    Walker now has a third opportunity to fill the seat. His initial pick of Randall Kowalke was rejected by Senate Republicans because Kowalke wasn't on the Republicans' list of finalists.

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