Sen. Lisa Murkowski visited rural Alaska this week, including Quinagak and Bethel. She has also visited Seward in her swing through the state.
Sen. Murkowski used a trip to Bethel today to say she endorses Mike Dunleavy for governor, and that Dunleavy’s stance on Ballot Measure 1 was a big factor in her decision. It’s a statement that has a lot of meaning for Western Alaska, where many rely on salmon for subsistence
Neither Murkowski or Dunleavy support the controversial salmon initiative that threatens to lock up other resources in the state and would make even a small project like a home driveway subject to extensive regulation and mitigation measures. Mark Begich, the Democrat running for governor, supports the measure, as do most Democrats.
“I have looked at the language of this initiative and as a former state legislator, and one who was responsible we get legislation and laws right, I’m very concerned that the ways this initiative is drafted.” Murkowski said to KYUK radio. “It would bring about unintended consequences that will limit our opportunity and ability as individuals and communities to really move forward with even the most simple development project.”
KYUK radio has been an organizational hub for the support for Ballot Measure 1, although it is publicly funded radio.
Earlier this week, Calista Corp. endorsed Dunleavy. The Native corporation owns land and a western Alaska mining project that could be impacted by Ballot Measure 1.
Sen. Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young have also endorsed Dunleavy in a joint statement. Murkowski has, to date, not issued a formal written endorsement, but her remarks in Bethel are the strongest yet that she has on record.