Gov. Dunleavy appoints Mel Gillis to House District 25
On Sunday, Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy appointed Mel Gillis to fill the vacant seat in Alaska House District 25. The seat had become vacant after its previous occupant, Josh Revak (R), had been confirmed and sworn into the Alaska State Senate, District M. Revak’s appointment was necessary in the wake of Senator Chris Birch’s death last August.
Gillis was one of three Republican candidates selected by Republican leadership in the House and forwarded to Governor Dunleavy for consideration in filling the vacancy. The other candidates were unnamed in a press release issued by the Governor’s office.
According to a video issued by Governor Dunleavy via his Facebook page, Gillis has been a resident of Alaska for over 50 years. Gillis currently owns and operates a hunting and fishing guide business. Dunleavy praised Gillis and expressed his faith in Gillis’ ability to carry out the functions of the job.
According to the Alaska constitution, vacancies in the legislature can either be filled by lawful provisions, and, in the absence of any provisions, the governor may fill the vacancy by appointment. However, the appointee must be approved by existing party members in the House before they are seated.