Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell posted on his Facebook page that he “applauded” Sen. Ted Cruz’s attempt at defunding the Affordable Care Act. He said that “when” he’s elected, he would “stand and work with Senators like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.”
Treadwell is running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. So far, the only other declared candidate is tea party favorite Joe Miller. For years in Alaska, Treadwell had a reputation as being a moderate Republican. He gave money to liberal Democrats, talked about global warming being at least in part caused by human activity, and worked to get the U.S. to sign on to the Law of the Sea Treaty, all of which, particularly the latter, are verboten to the tea party.
That began to change when he ran for lieutenant governor in 2010 and began to court the conservative and tea party vote. In 2010, he declined to endorse Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was a long time friend of Treadwell’s, against Joe Miller.
He did, however, support her during her write-in campaign against Miller, which infuriated many tea party activists.
Treadwell is now staunchly anti-abortion, repeatedly rails against federal encroachment, and has made repealing the Affordable Care Act a major part of his platform.
A spokesman for Miller indicated that Miller would not readily cede the tea party vote to Treadwell. “Joe has been standing strongly with fellow tea partiers Cruz and Lee and has signed the Senate Conservatives Fund pledge to defund Obamacare,” the spokesman told the conservative site The Daily Caller. ”Unless, Mead just signed on today, he has not. He is shown as a thumbs down on their site.”
While Treadwell’s embrace of Cruz’s “filibusterer” is designed to get him some traction with tea party activists in Alaska, it’s questionable if he will succeed. It also runs counter to the views of some in the Senate Republican leadership, who are increasingly vocal about Cruz “burning bridges” in that organization.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org