Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign released an ad on Sunday highlighting his record for things that he’s done for the state, and repeating allegations from other ads, one of which has been resoundingly discredited and the other of which is suspect:
GOP challenger Dan Sullivan’s campaign also released an ad, using their best weapons—Sullivan’s wife Julie Fate Sullivan and the Marine Corps–against residency charges that have been leveled against Sullivan. The charges must be doing some damage.
“As somebody whose family has been in Alaska for thousands of years, I have a message for Mark Begich: Alaskans respect military service. We don’t attack it,” Julie, who is Athabaskan, says.
The charge that Begich is attacking Sullivan for his military service is kind of a stretch, though you can see how they get there, and how other members of the military who have had to leave the state to serve might take offense. Sullivan is a Marine reservist who’s been in and out of active duty since 1993. He moved to the state in 1997. However, he was absent for seven years since that time. He left Alaska in 2002 to work at the White House and the State Department before coming back to the state in 2009. From 2004 to 2006, he was called into active duty. While he was out of state, he at various times claimed residency and non-residency on fishing licenses. Keep in mind that residency requirements can be confusing on those forms when you’re in and out of the state. Indeed, in 1990, Ted Stevens claimed that he was a non-resident on his fishing license, and then claimed residency for other years.
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