>Gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, the only one of the three candidates for governor to get the endorsement.
“It’s an honor to be endorsed by the nation’s foremost defender of our Second Amendment rights,” said Dunleavy in a statement. “As a lifelong member of the NRA, and as a father, I value the organization’s work in educating Alaskans on gun safety, training, and marksmanship.”
In 2014, the NRA refused to endorse Sen. Mark Begich over his Republican challenger, now-Sen. Dan Sullivan. At the time, the NRA said Begich’s support of two Supreme Court nominees opposed by the group cost him the endorsement that would normally go to a sitting lawmaker, if that lawmaker was pro-Second Amendment. Begich had voted for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, both of whom were opposed by the NRA.
In 2018, Begich is now the Democrats’ nominee for governor and again is being snubbed by the NRA.
Also in 2014, the NRA endorsed Republican Gov. Sean Parnell over challenger (no party candidate) Bill Walker. Walker’s running mate, Democrat Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott received just a 57 percent rating from the NRA, but the Walker-Mallott ticket went on to win in the General Election, proving that endorsements are not everything.
Alaska is a gun-toting state, second only to Wyoming for percentage of residents who own a firearm.
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.