Democrat mystified: His party left him off the list of candidates



Dustin Darden, who has run for several offices in recent years, can’t figure out why the Alaska Democratic Party has left him off its website list of official candidates.

From all accounts, Darden is just another Democrat with a passion to serve.

The party web site lists “undeclared” candidate Alyse Galvin, who is running against Republican Don Young, but not as a Democrat. She left her party behind to be not visibly aligned with it, but is still running as its chosen candidate. Her campaign war chest reflects that support, with much of her money coming through the ActBlue fundraising site, which is reserved for Democrats. She lists support from prominent Democrats, such as a $1,000 contribution from Mark Begich.

The Alaska Democrats have also included other “nonpartisan” and undeclared candidates, such as Sam Cason, running for State Senate District K, Stephanie Jeffers, undeclared with a party, running in District 12, and Danyelle Kimp, a nonpartisan running for District 13. The list goes on — the party is promoting undeclareds and nonpartisans.

But no Darden, who is running against Jason Grenn for District 22? No Sen. Lyman Hoffman, who is running for his seat in Bethel, District S?

Darden took umbrage.

“I’m union made and was left out of the Alaska Democratic Party’s website candidate list with no reason,” he said this morning. “Please someone contact the Democratic leadership and ask I get equal rights as a registered Democrat.  My father and mother put food on the table with hard work supported by organized labor as a school nurse with the AEA and as a Carpenter and IBEW member. I followed in my father’s footsteps paying dues to both unions to this very day also working for the municipality of Anchorage as a maintenance worker. I would appreciate your vote in the upcoming election.”

Darden’s opponents include a former Republican who registered as a nonpartisan and ran with the help of the Alaska Democrats, just like Gov. Bill Walker, receiving political action committee support from the major unions in Alaska.

Grenn, who now holds that District 22 seat, doesn’t appear on the Democrats’ web site, but that’s likely by design: District 22 is a right-leaning district, with 66 percent registered Republican, 34 percent registered Democrat, and the rest of the undeclareds and nonpartisans splitting down those same percentage lines.

Donald Trump won this district in 2016. It’s not an easy district to win for an admitted Democrat.

On the Republican side, Liz Vazquez and Sara Rasmussen are in a primary contest and one of them will face a Democrat and the incumbent in the fall.


  1. Vince Beltrami picks the Democrat candidate, no matter what the primary says. Why do Democrats stand for this?

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