The Alaska Democratic Party is tooting its horn for recruiting over 10 candidates to run, by grooming them into races with the help of a company called Movement Labs. Working with Movement Labs, the party is taking credit for recruiting:
- David Schaff, House District 9, running against Republican Rep. Laddie Shaw.
- Caroline Storm, House District 10, running against Sue Levi, also a Democrat not mentioned by the party, and Republican Craig Johnson.
- Danny Wells, House District 15, running against Republican Rep. Tom McKay, and Republican David Eibeck.
- Jennie Armstrong, House District 16, running against Republicans Joel McKinney and Liz Vazquez, and Constitution Party Rick Beckes.
- Genevieve Mina, House District 19, Downtown Anchorage.
- Andrew Gray, House District 20, the seat held by Democrat Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, who did not file for reelection.
- Donna Mears, House District 21, since Democrat Rep. Liz Snyder is not seeking reelection.
- Maxine Dibert, House District 31, against Republican Rep. Bart LeBon, who the party said in its release had initially caucused with Democrats, but “later turned tail after he became intimidated by the Alaska Republican Party and apparently fell fearful of Governor Mike Dunleavy.”
The Alaska Democratic Party is also excited they convinced Rep. Matt Claman to run against state Sen. Mia Costello in Senate District H, “where she has walked out of step with her constituency unchecked for far too long.”
The party was dead silent on one of its standard-bearers, Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar, who has filed for Senate; they were silent on Rep. Geran Tarr, running for that seat. And the Democrats were mum on some of their other Democrats candidates, such as Roselynn Cacy, running for Senate Seat E in South Anchorage and Janice Park, running for Senate Seat F.
Democrats had nothing to say about longtime Democrat leader Cliff Groh, who volunteered to run for House Seat 18 against another Democrat, Lyn Franks, and Republican Rep. David Nelson.
Although Sen. Tom Begich, Senate Seat I, declined to run again and handpicked his successor at the last minute (Loki Tobin), the Democrats steered clear of taking any credit for Tobin, a Native of Nome and leader in the LGBTQ movement.
The Democrats also went out of their way to distance themselves from their old friend and former candidate Bill Walker, endorsing Democrat Les Gara for governor, if only for the reason that Gara and his running mate Jessica Cook are “the singular pro-choice gubernatorial ticket during a tumultuous, uncertain time when the fundamental right to abortion services stands imperiled as the Supreme Court’s conservative majority appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Then the party turned its back on the entry of the only Alaska Native who has entered the race U.S. Senate, by ignoring Democrat Edgar Blatchford of Nome, and endorsing Pat Chesbro, a middle-aged white woman from Southcentral.
“ADP is thrilled that Democrat Pat Chesbro, who by announcing her candidacy for U.S. Senate last month provided Alaska voters with the opportunity to vote for the only reliable pro-choice candidate in the race,” the party said.
The Democrats equivocated on their choices for U.S. House. Earlier they had only endorsed Chris Constant, but now they’ve expanded their approval, but it’s all very carefully worded: “Six great Democratic candidates are also running for Congress. We encourage all voters to pour over the campaigns of Christopher Constant and Mary Peltola and vote for one Democrat in the U.S. House Special Election,” they said.
The Democrats skipped over their massive failure to recruit a single candidate for many Senate and House districts:
The Alaska Democratic Party conceded eight seats — 42 percent of all 19 Senate seats up for election — to Republicans by failing to field candidates in the following Senate Districts:
- Senate Seat A, Sitka (Stedman, Sheldon)
- Senate Seat C, Kodiak, Cordova, Anchor Point (Jones, Smith, Stevens)
- Senate Seat D, Kenai (Babcock, Bjorkman, Cizek)
- Senate Seat L, Eagle River (McCarty, Merrick, Trotter, Wright)
- Senate Seat N, Wasilla (Clayton, Wilson, Wright)
- Senate Seat O, Wasilla (Massie, Shower)
- Senate Seat Q, Fairbanks (Bennett, Myers, Serkov)
- Senate Seat R, Fairbanks (Bishop, Verhagen)
Republicans did not field Senate candidates in three Senate districts:
- Senate Seat B, downtown Juneau (Kiehl)
- Senate Seat I, downtown Anchorage (Tobin, Herndon)
- Senate Seat S, Bethel (Hoffman, Keppel)
Democrats failed to field candidates in 12 House districts: 5, 6, 7, 8, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 33, and 40.
In House races, Republicans didn’t field candidates in eight districts — 18, 19, in Anchorage, nor in 37, 38, 39, and 40, rural districts.