JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Bill Walker says the man he picked to fill a vacant Alaska Senate seat got more support than any of the other applicants for the job.

Walker on Friday appointed Randall Kowalke (coh-WAHL-kee) to replace former Sen. Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla. The appointment is subject to confirmation by Senate Republicans.

Kowalke was one of 11 applicants for the seat but not among the finalists advanced by GOP leaders in Senate District E.

His appointment upset some Republicans, who saw it as an affront to the traditional nominating process.

Walker says support for Kowalke came unsolicited from mayors, business people and constituents in that district.

He would not say if he had concerns with the three finalists advanced by the district. But he says he wanted to look more broadly at his options.

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