Alaska House Republicans confirm Mike Prax to fill vacant North Pole seat

The Alaska House of Representatives entrance in the Capitol in Juneau, Feb. 6, 2015. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Republicans in the Alaska House of Representatives voted on Friday to confirm Mike Prax of North Pole to fill the House seat vacated by former Rep. Tammie Wilson’s resignation.

Prax is a former Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly member and Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. worker. He was the Interior Alaska coordinator for the election campaign of Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor appointed Prax after District 3 Republicans made Prax one of three nominees for the seat.

Prax said he’ll try to make the most of the time remaining in the term.

“It’s going to be just trying to catch up to where everybody is right now,” Prax said.

Prax said he’s working out the logistics of getting to Juneau, but he hopes to arrive by Monday.

The House Republicans met in Juneau, with Prax answering their questions by phone, before taking the vote.

Anchorage Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt didn’t say how many members voted for or against Prax, but he did say he had enough support to be confirmed. Pruitt is the leader of the minority caucus, which Prax plans to join.

“I think he’s got some experience, not just in terms of the political world, but (he is) a longtime resident there in North Pole,” he said. “We’re looking forward to him getting down here, and getting to know him.”

The meeting was one of the rare occasions that brought the minority-caucus Republicans together with those who chose to caucus with the House majority beginning last year.

Fairbanks Republican Rep. Steve Thompson, the majority leader, attended the meeting and said it went well. And he said Prax brings a good memory for state government history.

“Very knowledgeable,” is how Thompson described Prax. “I think he’s a reasonable person, so … I’m glad to see we’re going to have somebody.”

Wilson resigned in January to work for the state, as an adviser for the Office of Children’s Services.