Of the three candidates in the U.S. Senate Republican primary race so far, it looks like former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan is the candidate who can raise money. His first fundraiser brought in about $50,000, which was more than 25 percent of what his most heavily financed primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, managed to raise in 90 days.
His opponents know this. Both Treadwell and incumbent Sen. Mark Begich are trying to stick him with the rap that he’s not a real Alaskan and that he’s using the state for his own personal political advancement.
His voting record, specifically that he missed voting in primary elections, will likely be used to further that rap.
While Sullivan has voted in every general since at least 2004, when public records are available, he has only voted in two of five primaries in those years. He skipped the 2004, 2006 and 2008 primary elections.
The Republican primary race in Alaska in 2004 was relatively uneventful. There was no governor’s race, and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the only member of the delegation to have a challenger, whom she beat handily. In 2006, however, the governor’s primary race was a three-way one, pitting challengers Sarah Palin and John Binkley against incumbent Frank Murkowski. (The rest of that story, as they say, is history.)
In 2008, Rep. Don Young only won the primary by about 300 votes against current Gov. Sean Parnell.
Joe Miller did not vote in the 2008 primary, but voted in all of the others since 2004. Neither Treadwell or Begich have missed an election.
Sullivan’s spokesperson Mike Anderson sent the following email in response to questions about his voting record:
Since coming to Alaska over 16 years ago, Dan has always voted in the state. While serving his country after 9/11, he stayed engaged in voting in Alaska while working as a National Security Council staff at the White House, then as a Marine Corps Infantry officer and finally as an Assistant Secretary of State. During that period, he did miss a few primary votes, but never missed a general election vote.
Sullivan moved to Alaska in 1997 after getting a Georgetown law degree to clerk for judges, including Chief Justice Warren Matthews. He was in private practice until 2002, when he moved to D.C. to head the International Economics Directorate of the National Economic Council and National Security Council under George W. Bush. He left the White House to become an assistant secretary of state.
In 2009, then Gov. Sarah Palin appointed him to become Alaska’s attorney general. Sullivan has also served in the Marine Corps since 1993, both on active duty and in the reserves. He was recently called to active duty to work on a counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan.
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