The release below just came from Mark Begich’s campaign, which claims that Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s campaign was involved in an “orchestrated attempt to deliver Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat for Dan Sullivan,” by getting Vic Kohring to drop his bid as Alaska Independent Party’s Senate candidate.
It might even be true, but given recent events, it’s a startling charge. It comes on the heels of Begich’s people being highly active in getting Democratic Party leaders to nullify a gubernatorial state primary election, in order to put a Republican on the top of the ticket for the first time in history. Why did Begich want this? For one, it plays nicely into his theme about party affiliation mattering less than doing what’s right for Alaska, and is music to the ears of independent voters. It has the potential to breathe life into what was a listless campaign. And, most importantly, it draws unions into the race in order to flay Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is despised by them, and who’s running as Gov. Sean Parnell’s lieutenant governor, and who happens to have the same name as the Dan Sullivan who’s running against Begich for Senate. Confused? It’s politics, Alaska style. Kettles are calling pots black and orchestras are tuning up all across the state. Here’s the Begich release:
“Alaska Independent Party senate candidate Vic Kohring’s simultaneous withdrawal from the Senate race and endorsement of Dan Sullivan reeks of a orchestrated attempt to deliver Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat for Dan Sullivan. After months of declining all opportunities to appear at public events during his ‘campaign,’ Kohring’s endorsement reads as if it’s written by Dan Sullivan himself.”
The withdrawal was announced at 4:30 p.m. (Alaska) with a candidate filing deadline of 5:00 p.m. Kohring’s only statement to the press at the time was a glowing endorsement of Dan Sullivan, which reads as yet another ploy by Sullivan and national groups to buy Alaska’s Senate seat.
Kohring ran a virtually non-existent campaign and was barely heard from in the days following the primary election. The Libertarian party tried – unsuccessfully – numerous times to contact Kohring to participate in the recent United For Liberty debate.