Alaska GOP senator resigning to focus on governor’s race

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Alaska state Sen. Mike Dunleavy says he will resign his seat to focus on running for governor this year.

Dunleavy, a Republican, says the best way for him to advocate for his constituents’ values is to devote his full time and attention to ensuring that a new governor is elected.

A Dunleavy campaign spokeswoman says the resignation will be effective Jan. 15.

Dunleavy was elected to the Senate in 2012.

He left the Republican-led Senate majority last year over concerns that more had not been cut from the budget. He also didn’t support a proposed change to how Alaska Permanent Fund dividends are distributed.

Dunleavy’s departure means the House and Senate both will have to fill vacancies.

Democratic state Rep. Dean Westlake resigned last month amid accusations of inappropriate behavior.

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