Sen. Mike Dunleavy suspended his campaign for governor in September to focus on his health. Today, he said that concern is behind him and he’s back in the race. 100 percent, he said.
Dunleavy made the announcement on Facebook during a live video broadcast at noon Alaska time. Over 50 people tuned in during the broadcast.
The senator from Wasilla left the Republican Senate Majority last winter over differences on using the Permanent Fund as part of the solution to the state’s budget crunch.
Sitting in his living room in front of his Christmas tree, and speaking to the camera, he said his campaign will focus on three things: Public safety, budget, and protecting the Permanent Fund and by extension, the Permanent Fund dividend.
His first-ever Facebook live video was less than 10 minutes in length. He asked the public to contact him through his web site, AlaskansforDunleavy.com to offer their support, both as volunteers and financially.
Immediately after his Facebook video, his campaign posted a press release.
“Senator Mike Dunleavy is thrilled to announce he is re-engaging his campaign for Governor, effective immediately. Three months ago, Senator Dunleavy suspended his campaign for Governor due to a medical condition that required at that time, undetermined treatment and recovery.
“I am glad to report that, thanks to great physicians, nurses and care providers, the medical treatments were successful, and my recovery has been excellent. In late August, I underwent a medical procedure to address atrial fibrillation,” said Dunleavy. “This condition was not life threatening, but was a serious impediment to handling the rigors of the campaign trail. I also received treatment in November for some inflammation of the heart tissue (myocarditis) that had been causing serious fatigue. The outpouring of well wishes and prayers from Alaskans all across the state was truly humbling and inspiring.”
Dunleavy said he needed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his health be well enough that he could follow through.
“Broken campaign promises are nearly the rule and not the exception these days. Then after they are repeatedly lied to, voters are chastised for not engaging by the very same politicians that didn’t keep their word. That is simply unacceptable to me,” stated Dunleavy.
“Alaska needs a leader that listens to, respects, believes in, and protects Alaskans,” said Dunleavy. “There is simply no excuse for the position our state is in – a significant rise in crime, both violent crime and crime that endangers our economic stability like theft, an economy in recession, the highest unemployment rate in the country and millions being wasted in government at the expense of the people and private sector. There exist viable solutions to the challenges facing us, and with the help of all Alaskans, I will work to swiftly and immediately enact systematic change to improve safety, get expenditures in line with revenues, and protect the Alaskan PFD as its founders envisioned.”
WHO WILL FILL HIS SHOES IN THE SENATE?
Rep. George Rauscher, District 9, said he is heaviliy considering that since Dunleavy can’t run for Senate and governor, “I would heavily consider running for his seat.”
Another likely candidate would be Rep. David Eastman, District 10.