FRAN ULMER GETS HER NAME IN FRONT OF BIDEN CAMPAIGN
Alaska’s Democratic establishment, led by former Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, has thrown its support to Joe Biden for president, saying that now is no time for “on-the-ground training.” That would be throwing shade on Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The group of Alaska Democrat centrists is evidently trying to bring more credibility to the Biden campaign in a state where Alaska Democrats went for Bernie Sanders by 82 percent in 2016, during the Alaska Democratic Caucus process.
That was when Hillary Clinton was the alternative, and Biden wasn’t on the ballot. The party didn’t really care, and awarded all the super-delegates to Hillary Clinton.
In a news release April 3, over 40 Alaska Democrats — some with household names — signed on to Ulmer’s letter of support for Biden. A few of the better-known names include:
- Margo Bellamy, Anchorage School Board
- Eric Croft, former Alaska state representative
- Paula DeLaiarro, Ship Creek Group financial officer
- Heidi Drygas, former commissioner, Alaska Department of Labor, under Gov. Bill Walker
- Grier Hopkins, Alaska state representative
- Selena Hopkins-Kendall, married to the former Walker chief of staff
- Jim Lottsfeldt, Lottsfeldt Strategies
- Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Alaska state representative
- Susan Ruddy, past president of Providence Alaska Foundation
- Shea Siegert, campaign manager for Alaskans for Better Elections (jungle primary)
- Mike Wenstrup, former chair, Alaska Democratic Party
- Adam Wool, Alaska state representative
Political pundits asked MRAK if this is a repeat of 2016, when the Democrat establishment went against the will of Alaska Democrats, infuriating some of them who were hardcore Sanders supporters.
But more likely, according to other MRAK sources, this is simply Ulmer burnishing her credentials with the presumed nominee for the Democratic Party ticket, while looking for a way to get a presidential appointment, as she did under Barack Obama, who named her chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission in 2011. She had also been named by Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
Missing from the list of Biden endorsers, however, are other heavy hitters in the Alaska Democratic Party that you’d normally see on a list like this, including John and Margaret Pugh, Bruce Botelho, Ralph Kibby, Kim Metcalfe, Jim Ayers, Mark Begich, Bob Weinstein of Ketchikan, Jan Wrentmore, Brian Rogers, Tony Knowles, Al Kookesh, Bryon Mallott, and Mike Navarre. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has not yet announced who he will back, but had earlier thrown his endorsement to Mike Bloomberg, before Bloomberg spectacularly dropped out.
Alaska Democrats taking part in the party’s first-ever caucus-by-ballot have until April 10 to get their ballots into the Alaska Democratic Party headquarters. After that, the party officials will count the ballots and delegates to the national convention will be awarded based on the results.