A second Palin pick for vacant state Senate seat is rejected

JUNEAU — Alaska state Senate Democrats have voted to reject Gov. Sarah Palin's latest pick for the open Juneau senate seat, Joe Nelson.

The nine Senate Democrats met behind closed doors to reject Nelson, just as they did last week with the governor's previous appointee to the seat, Tim Grussendorf.

The senators refuse to give a vote count or say how they each voted on it.

Juneau Democratic Party officials opposed both Nelson (they said he wasn't active in the party and lacked political experience) and Grussendorf getting the seat that opened when Juneau Democratic Sen. Kim Elton resigned for a job in the Obama administration.

The Juneau Democrats really want House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula to get the seat but suggested four candidates to Palin.

The names other than Kerttula submitted by the Juneau Democrats are Jeff Bush (a member of the local Juneau city Assembly), Mike Miller (a Juneau legislator until 1985) and Sally Smith (a Fairbanks legislator until 1982 and former mayor of Juneau.)

The Senate Democrats have now asked Palin to pick another appointee by April 20. That's after the legislative session is scheduled to adjourn for the year, so it looks like Juneau will finish the session without a senator.