Campaign manager with Alaska ties accused by ex-fiancee - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Campaign manager with Alaska ties accused by ex-fiancee

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A former campaign manager for Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan has been accused by his ex-fiancee of domestic violence.

Ben Sparks of Texas is the center of a story in the Las Vegas newspaper that goes from sad to sordid in about 300 words.

The woman is claiming that Sparks sexually enslaved her and made her sign a contract. She is 46 and is a lawyer. Sparks, 35, is a nationally known campaign expert who recently was associated with Red Rock Strategies. That organization has removed his profile from the company web site.

Several weeks ago, Sparks announced on Facebook that he was engaged, and he posted a photo of himself and the woman who now presumably is the one accusing him of hurting her. All that is gone from Facebook now.

After leaving the Sullivan campaign, Sparks was hired by the New Hampshire GOP. Since then, he has worked on several congressional campaigns and worked in and out of Alaska.

Sparks was described by former blogger and now Sullivan senior adviser Amanda Coyne this way in 2014:

Ben Sparks, campaign manager. Sullivan for Senate campaign–This 32-year-old Texas native came to Alaska most recently from the New Jersey Republican Party, where he was the communications director. Before that, he worked for the Republicans in Wisconsin. He could have stepped out of a film featuring a high-strung campaign manager. He paces. He smokes. He can be foul-mouthed. He wears cowboy boots and blue jeans. Everything’s a crisis and a disaster until it’s not. He yells a lot, until he can’t help himself and he laughs. And just when you think you’ve pegged him as an ironically-detached, Machiavellian gun-for-hire, he gets very serious and talks about how lucky he has been to work for such great men like Chris Christie and Dan Sullivan. So, a simple party hack? Not so fast. He’s also a graduate of St. John’s College, where they study ancient Greek and read Plutarch and Aristotle. He’s big winner in Alaska, and the world of campaigns will take note. Expect his next hook-up to be on a presidential trail in the haunts of Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina.

[Read the Review-Journal story here.]

Sen. Sullivan’s press secretary issued a statement expressing shock: “The news stories and allegations concerning Mr. Sparks are shocking and extremely disturbing.  Senator Sullivan strongly condemns any and all instances of domestic violence, and has worked throughout his career to end the scourge of violence against women. Mr. Sparks served as campaign manager during Senator Sullivan’s 2014 US Senate campaign. His employment ended at the conclusion of the race.”

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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.

Latest comments

  • Someone correct me please but I think I remember this fellow from the 2014 campaign as saying he is from Texas but having a distinctly Australian accent. Australia is that place where private gun ownership is essentially illegal. Texas is that place where people believe in the right to keep and bear arms just as we do in Alaska, so I was entirely suspicious of this fellow; as I am about all Australians. If they want to take my guns they should stay the Hell home, I will do the same. I liked Dan Sullivan, worked hard on the campaign (beating Begich was so great), but this Sparks appeared fake to me right from the beginning.

  • “She is 46 and is a lawyer.” He is 35 and is not a lawyer. Enuf said.

  • In Alaska, this is just called “courting”

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