In one of the most valued endorsements a Republican candidate in Alaska can get, former Gov. Sean Parnell announced today he is backing Kevin Meyer for lieutenant governor.
Last month, Parnell endorsed Mike Dunleavy for governor.
In an interview this morning, he said he’s known Meyer to be an outstanding and trusted public servant and he admired him for standing against an income tax in recent years.
“The thing about Kevin is he just represents steady, competent, trustworthy leadership. That’s an important attribute in a lieutenant governor who could be asked to step up in a very tumultuous time,” Parnell said.
Parnell knows that that’s not an unlikely scenario. It has happened twice in Alaska’s nearly 60-year history of statehood — Parnell himself was called to serve as governor when Gov. Sarah Palin stepped down in 2009. Forty years earlier Keith Miller served as governor when Gov. Walter Hickel was appointed Secretary of the Interior in 1969.
“I think for Alaskan conservatives who are voting in the August 21st Republican primary Kevin Meyer is the only choice. Kevin Meyer for decades has fought the fight of the fiscal conservative,” Parnell said in a released statement — and on a video released today:
“I’ve been Lt Governor and I’ve also been the Governor. I know what it takes to get the job done and Kevin Meyer is what Alaska needs for the Lt. Governor position.
“He’s honest, he’s got thirty-five years of private sector experience. He’s a good, decent, honest human being that Alaskans can trust,” Parnell said.
Meyer also has the highest rating from the NRA and supports the Second Amendment, Parnell noted.
“One of the things I like about Kevin is he and his wife, Marty, have raised their family here, they’ve been Alaskans for decades. He’s knows what it’s like in the private sector but he also knows how to serve Alaskans in the public sector.”
Meyer said Parnell’s endorsement was a major boost for his candidacy with fewer than three weeks remaining until the primary election.
“I am honored to get Gov. Parnell’s backing. He is highly respected across Alaska and his strong support will help set me apart from the other Republican contenders in the race,” Meyer said.
Parnell and Meyer came up through public service along similar paths, with local involvement in their respective community councils, before running for State office. They’ve both endured criticism from some Democrats because they had jobs in Alaska’s energy sector.
But while Parnell went on to run for lieutenant governor in 2006, and then became governor, Meyer stayed in the Legislature until deciding this year to run for the state’s second-highest office.
“Someone like Kevin — he’s fully vetted, and you know what you are getting. You not only get the person who knows how to get things done for Alaskans, but that person has had the scrutiny of being in public office and Alaskans know him.”
The Aug. 21 primary ballot for Republicans (and other voters not signed with another party) include Lt. Govlernor candidates Lynn Gattis, Edie Grunwald, Sharon Jackson and Stephen Wright.