Tag Archives: u.s. senate race alaska

GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan returns favor and fires back at Begich

Sen. Mark Begich, as well as the super-PAC that supports him, have repeatedly gone after GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan for everything from residency questions to support of a permitting bill. In an ad released last week, Begich mocked Sullivan for a commercial Sullivan shot atop the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, which was built during Begich’s tenure as mayor of Anchorage, and which he considered one of his crowing achievements. Begich then offers Sullivan advice on other sites he might consider for future ads.

Sullivan accepts the advice and fires back at Begich for the first time. The results are pretty good. And for the first time, Sullivan appears relaxed, proves that he has a personality, and seems to be having fun on camera.


King Cove resident in critical condition as Murkowski continues battle over road to Cold Bay

A King Cove resident is in critical condition in Anchorage after a medical incident in the small Aleutian-chain village of King Cove on Friday night. The wind was blowing hard, but the Coast Guard was able to get a helicopter into the village to transport 62-year-old Irene Newman to Cold Bay, where she was then transferred via life flight to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

As of 10 a.m. on Monday, Newman was still in critical condition, but is alert and responding, said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack, who is Newman’s brother-in-law and who is currently at the Native Medical Center.

“It was pretty traumatic,” Mack said. “The Coast Guard put their lives at risk,” he said. And they likely wouldn’t have had to go to such lengths if the federal government were to allow for a small gravel road to be built from King Cove to Cold Bay, he said.

It’s another incident among many that has Alaska’s congressional delegation determined to go to battle with the U.S. Interior Department to allow for the road.

For dozens of years, residents of King Cove —  a village of about 950 on the Aleutian chain — have been lobbying the federal government to allow for the road to Cold Bay, about 22 miles away. But because it cuts through a slice of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, they have been told they can’t. The state of Alaska and King Cove Native Corp. recently offered a land exchange. They would give up nearly 60,000 acres of land for the nearly 2,000 needed for the road, which would include 200 acres from the Refuge.

In December, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected the deal, saying that the road has the potential to harm the Pacific black brant, which is a small goose, and other wildlife in the refuge.

Both Murkowski and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich voted to confirm Jewell. Both objected to the decision. There are numerous stories of deaths and near-deaths because of the lack of a road.

Murkowski continues to keep the issue in the spotlight. “I won’t give up,” Murkowski said recently. “I will not get over it.”

Her current battle is trying to block Rhea Suh’s nomination to be assistant Interior secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, the agency that conducted the environmental impact statement on the road.

It’s unclear if Sen. Mark Begich supports Suh’s nomination. His office did not answer repeated questions about it. If he does, it will likely be used by his GOP opponents in the 2014 election.

Given wide Democratic support for Suh and filibuster reform, it’s unclear how Murkowski will prevail. But apparently she has something in mind.

“If I revealed my whole strategy, there would be no surprise and nothing for you all to work on. I can’t divulge everything,” Murkowski told reporters, according to Politico.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Senate candidate Sullivan’s giving Alaska some love

For Valentine’s Day, GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan released a radio ad, entitled “Love.” My favorite part is when he tells us how he fell in love with his wife, Julie, on first sight, and he fell in love with Alaska, first sight. “And, as my Marine Corps brothers know, I fight for the things I love.” That’s pretty good. Listen below:


Early Republican Senate race poll released

A recent poll conducted by Ivan Moore, an Anchorage-based political consultant, shows that among Republican Senate candidates, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has 34.1 percent of the vote, former DNR commissioner Dan Sullivan has 28.5 percent and Joe Miller 19.4 percent. About 18 percent were undecided.

The poll was conducted between Dec. 15-22 and sampled 335 voters likely to vote in the 2014 Republican primary race. The respondents are comprised of 55 percent Republican and, 45 percent independents, or those who are registered as nonpartisans. Republican Party rules dictate that registered Democrats can’t vote in the Republican primary.

It’s unclear Moore declined to say who paid for the poll, though he has often worked for Democratic candidates and for unions.

It’s a tough race to poll. Dan Sullivan the Senate candidate shares the same name as Anchorage’s mayor Dan Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor. In the poll, Moore referred to the Senate candidate as the former DNR commissioner. However, it’s likely that some, if not many, respondents sampled are getting the two confused.

What does appear to be clear, however, is that Joe Miller is doing better than many thought. His numbers don’t look good in Anchorage, but he’s doing well in the Mat-Su, Fairbanks and Kenai, where he was strong when he won the primary against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010.

Senate candidate Dan Sullivan announced on Tuesday that he raised $1.25 million in the last quarter, a number that will likely catapult him to frontrunner status. He also has solid Republican credentials. However it’s not always the case that the biggest fundraiser wins races, particularly in primary races where voters tend to be more ideological and partisan.

Moore said that people don’t like Dan Sullivan much yet. “He can push his qualifications as much as he likes, it’s not going to make people like him,” Moore said. “And that’s what voting for someone is really about.”

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


DNR Commish Dan Sullivan resigns; sets stage for U.S. Senate campaign

SullivanAs I wrote last night that he would do, Gov. Sean Parnell announced on Thursday morning that Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan submitted his resignation letter. Although he doesn’t say so in his letter, Sullivan is resigning effective Sept. 24 to run for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich.

“As I explore new opportunities and challenges in the next phase of my life, I intend to seek ways to continue to serve my fellow Alaskans,” Sullivan wrote.

“As attorney general, Dan played a major role in the Choose Respect initiative and fought hard against federal overreach,” Parnell said in his announcement. “During his tenure as commissioner, Dan led the state’s efforts in resource development and permitting reform, and worked to resolve Pt. Thomson litigation – setting the stage for a natural gas pipeline.”

In his resignation letter Sullivan is more specific about his successes as both Alaska’s AG and as DNR commissioner:

  • Protecting Alaska’s most vulnerable through the Choose Respect Initiative;
  • Spearheading the Cook Inlet energy renaissance;
  • Promoting increased oil production and jobs through the More Alaska Production Act;
  • Accelerating the commercialization of North Slope gas for Alaskans’ benefit;
  • Resolving Point Thomson and jump starting this multi-billion dollar North Slope development;
  • Slashing permitting backlogs and streamlining the State’s regulatory system;
  • Going on offense on ANWR exploration; and
  • Effectively fighting against federal overreach into the lives of Alaskans and our economy.

Sullivan will be running in the primary against current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former Senate candidate Joe Miller. Treadwell is kicking off his campaign today.

Both Sullivan and Treadwell are considered more “establishment” candidates, to the extent there is an “establishment” in Alaska. Miller is, well, Miller.

Because the party makeup of the U.S. Senate might very well rest on this race, people who are watching are nervous that Treadwell and Sullivan will pave the way for Miller to claim victory in a Republican primary, as he did when he ran against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Between Treadwell and Sullivan, Karl Rove, for one, has deemed Sullivan to be the more winnable and is prepared to put money through at least one super PAC that he spearheaded to help ward off Tea Party candidates such as Miller.

Sullivan looks good on paper. He’s got a Harvard undergraduate degree and a law degree from Georgetown. He’s a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. He’s been in the United States Marine Corps since 1993, and just got back from reservist duty where he was on a counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. He’s married to Julie Fate, whose mother is a respected Native Alaska leader and whose father is a former Fairbanks lawmaker.

However, unlike Treadwell, Sullivan has never run for office. Treadwell can fight tough and dirty if need be.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com