BUT SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN SAYS HE DID NOT ENDORSE HER
The head man at the AFL-CIO in Alaska was once a harsh critic of Sen. Cathy Giessel, so much so that he even ran against her in 2016.
Giessel is running for reelection in District N, south Anchorage, having served the region since 2011.
Today, AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami is having his foot soldiers go door to door with literature supporting his former foe, who is in a primary race with Roger Holland.
The AFL-CIO literature that favors Giessel this cycle urges people to request the Republican ballot so they can vote for Giessel in the primary. The group is also urging people in District 24 to request the Republican Party ballot and vote in that primary, where Rep. Chuck Kopp is being challenged by Tom McKay.
Democrats and the large unions that represent mainly public employees are attempting to swing the vote in specific seats through this method; undeclared and nonpartisan voters can vote either the Republican ballot or the everything-else ballot, as Republicans have a semi-closed primary to prevent this type of dubious tinkering with elections.
“Paid for by Alaska AFL-CIO” means it was delivered to union households (but also to other households) by paid union workers. It’s hard to say if this helps or hurts the senator, but it’s certainly indication of a new alliance.
There is a Democratic primary in Senate Seat N: Carl Johnson is running against Lynette Moreno Hinz for the chance of appearing on the November ballot against either Giessel or Holland.
That campaign literature curiosity comes on the heels of one of Giessel’s own pieces of campaign literature that blanketed the district, all the way to Girdwood, which brought swift disavowal from U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign headquarters.
On that campaign flyer, Giessel has a congratulatory note from Sullivan from 2019, and a photo of herself and the U.S. senator, and it very much appears as an endorsement.
“Senator Sullivan has a very strong record of working with members of the Legislature. However, he is not endorsing Legislative candidates ahead of the August primary,” his campaign said in a statement.
“Photographs released with candidates and Senator Sullivan have not been approved by Senator Sullivan or his campaign and should not be viewed as endorsements. This mail piece was not approved by Senator Sullivan or his campaign,” the campaign stated.
The statement may have been issued because candidates are starting to use Sullivan in their campaign materials, but he has his own race to run this year. A photo posted by the late Rep. Gary Knopp (who died Friday in a plane crash) that showed him with the senator caused some on the Kenai Peninsula to call the campaign staff to ask if it was an endorsement. It was not, but observers interpreted it that way.