A group based in Ketchikan has formed an independent political action committee to support businessman Scott Hawkins’ race for governor.
“Alaskans for Hawkins” filed as an “independent expenditure group” with the Alaska Public Offices Commission on Monday, two days after the close of the Alaska Republican Party State Convention.
“There is no doubt that Scott Hawkins’ performance at the State Republican Convention was anything short of a stunning breakthrough in the Republican Primary campaign for Governor of Alaska” said Trevor Shaw, founding Chair for Alaskans for Scott Hawkins.
“Scott was passionate and inspirational. His speech was genuine, hopeful, and honest,” Shaw said. “We are a grassroots organization, starting from the ground up, and we’re already receiving tremendous support from Alaskans,” Shaw said. “It’s because people are truly inspired and encouraged by Scott Hawkins’ solid record of shaking up the status quo and his promise to do the same in Juneau.”
Shaw is the co-chair and treasurer, and Dave Spokely of Ketchikan is co-chair. The PAC started with $10,000, Shaw said.
DUNLEAVY HAS PAC, TOO
Mike Dunleavy, another gubernatorial candidate, has a PAC dedicated to his race that started earlier this year with over $550,000 in pledged commitments and has been running ads on television, radio and in social media.
Political action committees operate separate from the actual campaigns and are not allowed to coordinate with the campaigns. They are protected political speech but must file reports with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
In 2014, Gov. Bill Walker had political action committees form to support his and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s race against Gov. Sean Parnell. While groups with an anti-Parnell flavor, Alaskans Against Parnell, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose Parnell, Walker-Mallott One spent hundreds of thousands in support of the indie-Democrat ticket that had formed up during the Labor Day weekend in 2014.
The 2018 cycle may be even more spendy for independent expenditure groups, but most of the big money won’t show up until after the August primary.
Also running in the primary at this point are Rep. Mike Chenault, who is a longtime House member from Kenai, and Michael Sheldon of Petersburg.