GOP chair scolds Riggs campaign for ‘cheap personal attack’


A last-minute attack mailer on candidate Al Fogle, running for House District 26, showed up in mailboxes on Saturday. Recipients were treated to a smear telling recipients that the man is gay, a father of children, and supports the use of condoms. It’s all done in a way that makes Fogle look unfit.

But it has backfired a bit on the Joe Riggs’ campaign, which was responsible for the mailer. Some recipients sent it to Must Read Alaska and said it was just dirty campaigning.

Not all appreciated that the attack included Fogle’s family, which includes two adopted children. Generally, candidates are advised not to bring in the children or spouses of the family of an opposing candidate into an attack.

In fact, in addition to being a parent, Al Fogle is also a war veteran, having served in the Iraq War as a member of the U.S. Army. He attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and received a bachelor’s degree in finance, with a minor in criminal justice. He is an employee benefits consultant at Northrim Benefits Group and is president of the Alaska Association of Health Underwriters.

Al Fogle

“The Joe Riggs mailer attacking Albert Fogle is a largely a non-issue based hit piece that is really just a cheap personal attack.  I am very disappointed in Joe Riggs’ campaign tactics,” said Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.

For the chairman of the Republican Party to weigh in during a contested primary is a sign that the ugly campaign tactic went too far.

Earlier in the year, Babcock warned candidates that he would not tolerate excessive personal attacks of other Republican candidates. Usually, he likes to let candidates sort out their policy differences, and this is the first time he has weighed in publicly on such an attack.

Some Republicans feel that being gay should preclude people from serving in office, while others feel that sleeping arrangements are a matter of personal liberty. The Republican platform supports a definition of marriage being between one man and one woman. But the Republican platform also supports individualism, personal responsibility, and privacy. And plenty of single mothers have run for office as Republicans without having their names smeared because the party supports children being raised by a mother and a father.

The GOP platform also supports adoption.

There are 4,119 registered Republicans in District 26 and another 8,327 who are undeclared or nonpartisan and may vote in the Republican primary.

Three Republican candidates have filed for the seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Birch as he makes a bid for Senate: Al Fogle, Joe Riggs and Laddie Shaw.


  1. Wow, the Republican Party leadership is really becoming more liberal all the time. Of course, this article doesn’t point out that they had an official party get-together at Fogle’s house in the past, even when they knew he was opposed to the platform (and God).

  2. As a conservative Republican from a nearby district, I encourage residents to vote for change. Vote for Laddie Shaw!

  3. Alaska Family Action opposes Al Fogle but not because he is gay. We oppose him because he has been deliberately deceptive about this part of his life. If he had chosen accurate responses when people asked him about this issue, there would not be hesitations about his honesty regarding other matters.

    • In other words, Alaska Family Action will proudly endorse gay Republican candidates in the future as long as they are not “deliberately deceptive” about it? Is this a new policy for AFA, or have you supported gay candidates in the past?

    • What rot, Jim. We have at least three on the Anchorage Assembly and you and your organization have been curiously silent. You were silent a year ago when Suzanne LaFrance, her democrat and union supporters executed a last minute smear of Fogle for being gay.

      Following your introduction of a million dollars of what eventually ended up being get out the vote money to re-elect Ethan via your foolishly timed ballot initiative last April, I would have thought you would reconsider your position.

      If Fogle is running as a gay, he should be targeted. But he is running as a conservative, something you guys used to support. Cheers –

  4. I normally would not leave a comment, but I don’t know why someone’s personal preference is anyone’s business. I don’t go to all the candidates and ask about their sleeping arrangements and then judge them accordingly. I would rather know what sort of experience they have and policy they would support. And for all those crying that Alaska can not have a gay legislator. You are too late. We already had a gay republican legislator, and guess what? Alaska did not explode into a mire of immorality. So vote for who you believe will be the best for Alaska. I wish I lived in that district so I could vote for Al Fogel.

  5. Spot on Robin. I think you should run for office! You bring levity to this thread that’s for sure. There have been plenty of gay legislators over the years on both sides of the aisle – most on the down low. (yep! I’ve been around a long, long time.) Who cares? Do what is best for Alaska. That’s what people want to happen. Go Al!

  6. Did I read that there was some mystery group “vets for Riggs” or something like that supporting Riggs – and he isn’t a veteran? And, they can’t find this group? Sounds fishy to me…. Perhaps Riggs is behind this fake group?

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