Big wins in Alaska primary races

As many predicted, U.S. GOP candidate Dan Sullivan was the winner in the primary election on Tuesday night. He’ll now take on Sen. Mark Begich in the general election. As of 1:30 a.m, with about 20 percent of the vote yet to be counted–not including absentee ballots–Sullivan was leading the race by eight percentage points against Joe Miller. He was leading 15 points against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

Sullivan, who has laryngitis and couldn’t speak, whispered in his wife’s ear as she thanked the crowd who had gathered at a downtown Anchorage restaurant late on Tuesday night. It had been a long day for Sullivan. He campaigned all day and also gave the eulogy at the funeral of a close friend. 

Earlier in the evening, Treadwell gave a concession speech at the Egan Center, where campaigns normally converge after results are clear. “I don’t feel that Alaska abandoned me because I haven’t abandoned Alaska,” Treadwell said. Treadwell said the goal now was to beat Sen. Mark Begich and that he and Sullivan had talked and that they would “get together very soon.”

In a press release, Miller said that he had called Sullivan and congratulated him for “running a strong campaign.”

It’s unclear how involved Miller will be in the upcoming race, although he did signal that he wasn’t disappearing from public life.

“As Ronald Reagan reminded us, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,’ so I will continue to do my part to ensure it is alive and well and passed on to the next generation of Americans,” Miller said.

In a statement, Sullivan said that he was “grateful” to Treadwell and Miller. “Joe and Mead both ran good campaigns. Julie and I respect their convictions, their families, and all who believe in our desire for change in Washington,” he said.

I’ll have more on this and other races tomorrow. Until then, here are a few of note:

As of 1 a.m, with about 80 percent of the precincts reporting, the “No” side of Ballot Measure 1 was beating the “Yes” by about four percentage points, or roughly 6,000 votes. This also was not unexpected. Those urging a “No” vote had put upwards of $14 million into the race to keep the tax law passed in 2013 on the books. Most of that money came from ConocoPhillips, Exxon, and BP.

Senate District F stretching from Chugiak to Palmer: This was the only contested state Senate race. Rep. Bill Stoltze won decisively against Palmer Mayor DeLana Johnson, about 71 to 29 percent.

House District 9 in the Mat-Su and into Valdez: In the biggest upset in the state races, Rep. Eric Feige lost his seat to either Jim Colver or George Rauscher. Colver, who was heavily financed by unions and worked extraordinarily hard, is up about 40 votes in that race. Rauscher was endorsed by the conservative Christian group, Alaska Family Action.

House District 21 in Turnagain/West Anchorage: Anand Dubey surprised many by winning this race so decisively. He had 60 percent of the vote to Matt Fagnani’s 40 percent.

House District 12 in Wasilla: Cathy Tilton won big against Ron Arvin, 64 percent to Arvin’s 36 percent.

House District 36 in Ketchikan goes to Chere Klein who had 44 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

House District 32 in Kodiak and Cordova goes to Louise Stutes, who got 45 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

House District 3 in North Pole: Rep. Tammie Wilson got 55 percent to Rep. Doug Isaacson’s 45 percent.

It’s worthy of note that all the women running in the contested House primaries won their races.

Read completely results here.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


12 thoughts on “Big wins in Alaska primary races

  1. admin

    @Bruce. Just coming up for air. Thanks. I just felt a crackle in that campaign. (And had some off record polling confirm). Miller and Treadwell were all going after the same poll of voters. It was clear a few months ago that Miller was going to get them.

  2. Garand Fellow

    There won’t be a state income tax so long as there is a PFD. The state won’t pay 600 bureaucrats to collect $400 million while it pays 300 bureaucrats to mail out $1 billion each year (not to mention the 25% of the $1 billion that goes directly to the US Treasury as a tax on the ordinary income that is the PFD). However there is no way to rule out a state sales tax.

    Joe Miller may determine who runs for the Senate seat in 2 years. His strong showing this week, and especially the maturity and intelligence he showed in his 2014 campaign from start to finish should give anyone a notice that he is not leaving the field.

    If Joe had won this week then I would now say he would have had an even chance of beating Begich. But I think Afghan Dan has an even better chance, and I don’t like risk.

    If dirt is being moved and pipe arriving in Alaska for a gas line in 4 years then Governor Parnell will be a hero. If not then he will be a goat. By that time state cash reserves net of the public employee unfunded liability at that time (and the entire unfunded liability is a current liability) will quite likely be about zero. If at that time the gas line continues to consist entirely of Tony Palmer and Dan Fauske coming to the legislature asking for money then it will be time to take a short position in Alaska real estate and business.

    The Alaska Constitution does not “demand maximum government involvement.” If it did then a governor would use state troopers and the national guard to develop resources on federal land that lies within state boundaries. Maximum use for the benefit of all Alaskans means one thing to environmentalists and remittance people, and quite another to the chambers of commerce. As state unrestricted revenue declines in nominal as well as real dollars, and education and Medicaid continue to grow, we will see state and municipal government involvement in everything go down. That is not the end of the world.

    Finally, I think everyone will soon discover that the defeat of Ballot Measure 1 is to be followed by an even closer alliance between Rep. Gara, Senator Wilycowski, and Mrs. Palin. Defeats can be consolidating experiences. Look for them first to appear on her television show (last I heard she has one but I haven’t seen it and am unlikely to do so) going hunting together. One fellow said Palin’s agent could be looking at signing those two fellows, with Rep. Gara considering the dancing contest that enlisted the younger Palin a few years ago.

  3. Sandy

    Answer left re Bruce’s comment –
    Federal candidates under FCC rules are entitled to buy equal time on television. In plain words, Treadwell had the option. I think Miller surpassed Treadwell simply because Mead’s conservatism was a bs act and it became more and more apparent as the election went on. Also, Republicans were angry with Mead’s negative attacks on Miller and Sullivan. The good news is that Treadwell’s character was exposed for what it is.

  4. Lynn Willis

    Thank you. I had to look up “Overton Window” and I like the idea that a concept can, given a changing political paradigm, over time proceed from “unthinkable” to “radical” to “acceptable” to “sensible” to “popular” to “policy”. That window is indeed open in Alaska because we are facing the foreseeable decline in resource revenue according to those who should know. Certainly we will not return to the days of the maximum revenues.
    I agree that the shift need not be always to one side of the political spectrum and Alaska could go either way. I have said that some of our current legisaltors, who have known no solution other than spending, are now like dinosaurs one hour after the meteor that caused their extinction hit the earth.
    Your example of the buy out of those living in flood plain wanting government assistance makes the point. Some of these Alaskans who claim to be rugged, independent, anti-government individuals are now going to have to deal with the apparent hypocrisy of accepting government help without litigation. If the government was to blame for the flooding shouldn’t the “conservative” approach be to prevail in litigation? This is similar to the conflict some feel (or should feel) when filling out a PFD application each year.

  5. Bruce

    Great insights and super job on predictions. Id love yo know more about your sense of why Miller climbed past Treadwell. You felt something i didnt see even here in Millers home town. While Treadwell focused on the conservative talk shows, I thought Miller was trying to do the same. What i couldnt read was whether Miller had made an ad pirchase for the last week long ago when ad space was avaolable – and if this made a difference. I thought Miller would pull ftom Sullivan. You and iyhers had opposite opinion. Most interesting.

  6. Jon K

    Lynn – go read Dermot’s article again. The testimony was apparently relying on DOR’s forecasts, which in turn have become extremely conservative and do not include many of the projects being pursued by the Independents and some projects under consideration by the majors. Ultimately other than the OCS, the independents are going to be the the ones going after the massive resource potential. We saw a huge resurgence of activity in Cook Inlet with the arrival of independents and the same thing is happening on the Slope.

  7. Anonymous

    You seem to have forgotten that your Overton window can move back the other way also. D. the state starts providing less services and the people take on more personal responsibility for their actions. Just this week we have people in the valley wanting the government to buy their property because of an unfortunate disaster that may have been exacerbated by the government and we have fishermen taking a handout from the government because the fishing was bad in previous years. I understand that these are federal government issues but those federal dollars come from somewhere and it just illustrates the mentality we have come to live with in our country. I saw a tweet this week about social security’s birthday and though “social security, teaching people that government is better at making financial decisions than they are for 80 years.”

  8. Anonymous

    lynn do you have a job/something better to do? you are always way too quick about posting such negative things

  9. Lynn Willis

    This morning at the top of this article appeared an add showing a profile of the TAPS with a caption claiming that a “NO” vote would fill up the oil pipeline. I wonder if those who sponsored that add were aware of the recent testimony before the RCA (Regulatory Commission of Alaska) by executives of Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips including: “No, I have no reason to believe that this trend will reverse itself in the foreseeable future” and “I have no reason to believe that the annual decline in TAPS volumes will reverse in 2014 or the foreseeable future”. That testimony certainly doesn’t support the belief that a “NO” vote will be filling TAPS any time soon.
    Fear is a powerful motive. Alaskans voted for their economic interests and, in the case of the Republican Senate Race, for the more centrist candidate. Gone are the days of seemingly inexhaustible state revenues so we could literally afford to allow issues such as gun control, abortion, and “big government” to decide elections. I would suggest that the person who ran a campaign that might have prevailed ten years ago was Mead Treadwell. Likewise, the extreme left has lost its’ foil.
    The cost per vote for the defeat of the repeal effort should give pause to the victors. Also, the State Constitution demands maximum government involvement in the extraction of natural resources – so look for “sons of SB21” especially as the fiscal policy of the current majority caucus lead by the “Spendupblicans” (Spending Republicans) and abetted by Governor Parnell becomes more unaffordable. Wait until the people have to choose between; a. loss of the PFD, b; reinstatement of the personal state income tax, or c: increase taxes on the producers. I suggest the vote on Prop 1 shows which choice will prevail.
    Perhaps the next four years will be as important to Alaskans as any in our history. I want stability in the Executive branch of state government during that period. Therefore, Governor Parnell needs to clearly state that he will serve his entire term if re-elected. If he wants to run for US Senate in two years then let him resign at the end of his current term to pursue that effort. We don’t need another “quitter” who leaves us in the lurch to pursue greener pastures.

  10. Poll Watcher In Valdez

    Coyne’s on the money.’s predictions were flawless. Unbelieveable. Good work.

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