Murkowski’s husband hosts D.C. fundraiser for Treadwell


(This story has been updated to reflect it was not Sen. Lisa Murkowski, but her husband Verne Martell who hosted the fundraiser at Murkowski’s DC home; she will not be endorsing in this race.)

Alaska’s senior senator’s husband held a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Mead Treadwell at her D.C. home on Monday night. Sources tell Must Read Alaska that at least $20,000 was raised for the Republican candidate for governor.

Murkowski, her husband Vern Martell, and Treadwell are close personal friends. In 2016, Murkowski promoted his name for Secretary of the Interior in the new Trump Administration.

“I think right now there’s still a lot of people in the mix. We’ve got some Alaskans. I’m pretty keen on Mead Treadwell, I think he would do a good job at the Department of Interior, and I have said so,” she told reporters that year.

Treadwell, who served as lieutenant governor for four years in the Parnell Administration, filed for governor on June 1, 2018, the final day for filing disclosures with the Alaska Public Offices Commission and the Division of Elections. With only 70 days until the primary election on Aug. 21, he has a short period of time to raise money, get his message out, and seal the deal with voters.

“It’s going to be an exciting Republican primary,” said Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. “This will generate a lot of interest, and there’s a clear contrast — and that’s what primaries are all about.”

A poll released on Monday confirmed that Mike Dunleavy has a substantial lead. 46 percent of Republican primary voters who took part in the poll would choose Dunleavy, who has been running for governor since last fall, 19 percent support Treadwell and 7 percent would pick Scott Hawkins, if the election was held last week.

Must Read Alaska has reached out to Murkowski to ask if this is an endorsement of Treadwell and will update this story when she responds.

Jerry Hood, campaign manager for Alaskans for Don Young, said that Young doesn’t get involved in contested primaries. A spokesman for Lisa Murkowski said late today that she is not endorsing anyone in the gubernatorial primary.

“Sen. Sullivan has not weighed in on the governor’s race at this time, but he has met with each of the three candidate for the Republican nomination at the request of those candidates,” said a Sullivan spokesman.


  1. An endorsement from Lisa is not a positive development for any Alaska Republican primary election campaign as she is far to the left of most anyone who will vote the Republican ballot. Having a fundraiser in DC may also be worrisome, at least for a shape-shifter like Mead. By and large we may prefer a governor that is an unknown inside the Washington, DC beltway. Treadie came in 3rd in his last Republican primary, and he may actually come in 4th this time even though I must admit I cannot right now recall the name of the fellow who will come in 3rd (even though I have met him). All that said, Lisa needed to remain on the sidelines until after the primary and this use of her membership in the US Senate to help one candidate over the others is beyond unfortunate.

  2. I worked with Mead Treadwell during the Hickel Administration when he was at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and I had the State Forester job at DNR. He was impossible to find on the job. He traveled the world on the state dime but he did no work so far as I could tell. Timber sale processes on state land and logging regulations on all nonfederal land faced delayed implementation, and as it turned out risked no small interference from the succeeding gubernatorial administration because Treadwell was nowhere to be found. He is one of those fellows who leans on the shovel and chatters gibberish while others do the work. During the Naknek debate he tied himself to every incident and state development since statehood but my own experience is that he has been a disinterested bystander, more motivated to accumulate state-paid airline miles than accomplishing anything.

      • Yes, so far as the trouble I had with Mead Treadwell in his role at DEC during the regulatory process on timber harvests it was the experience of the entire Division of Forestry, of which I was the Director, and of the Alaska Board of Forestry, of which I was the Presiding Officer. The Board of Forestry formally keeps minutes. So far as the Naknek debate you can watch the video I believe; I tuned in live on Saturday night.

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