Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomePoliticsNotes from the campaign trail: 5,000 ballots are in already

Notes from the campaign trail: 5,000 ballots are in already

Ballots arrived last weekend in most mailboxes in Alaska. The election to find a temporary replacement for Alaska’s congressional seat has begun in earnest. A collection of observations from the week of campaigns:

Voted already: By Thursday afternoon, the Division of Elections had processed 4,988 ballots. The division hasn’t counted them but has logged them in as received. Over 555,000 ballots were mailed hither and yon.

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Tara Sweeney: The candidate for U.S. House said she is pro-life and also libertarian concerning abortion on the Must Read Alaska Show, and then said she is pro-choice on a social media post. We’re confused but we think this means she is really pro-choice:

Josh Revak: In what looked like a cry for help, congressional candidate Revak attacked Santa Claus and called him a “commie” and a fraud. It did not go well with some viewers who said it seemed mean. “Don’t let this commie steal Santa’s valor. Vote freedom, vote Revak,” he said. And that was just the beginning of the sniping.

Chris Constant, running for Congress as a Democrat, decided to publicize the Must Read Alaska story about his new draft ordinance giving him the power to remove the mayor of Anchorage.

On Instagram, he did a little “Is this play about us?” meme. Cheap publicity and going for a certain generation and HBO crowd with a TikTok theme.

Sarah Palin: The former governor was in Bethel Friday as the only non-Native at a campaign forum at the Long House Hotel, sponsored by Bethel Native Corporation. The forum also had Mary Peltola, Emil Notti, and Tara Sweeney as invited guests — all running for Congress. It appears Palin knows she will be in the top four for the Aug. 16 ballot and is now running for that ballot by checking off the “Bethel visit” box now, rather than later. The other three in the forum are battling for fourth place at this point in the campaign.

Palin still running anti-Republican: Palin’s online posts are still largely anti-Republican, a theme she began when she did not receive, by acclamation, the Republican Party’s endorsement last month.

Santa Claus: The North Pole councilman running for Congress for the temporary seat will be on the Must Read Alaska Show podcast on Monday.

John Coghill: The former state senator has hired Cherie Curry and Chuck Kopp’s Winfluence consulting company to help him with his campaign. Look for him on a Must Read Alaska Show very soon.

Mary Peltola: Alyse Galvin, who ran for Congress twice, has endorsed Democrat Peltola, and Galvin’s finance director in the 2020 cycle is Peltola’s campaign manager: Kim Jones, partner at Ship Creek Group.

Chris Constant, right, with Forrest Dunbar. The two masked men are on the Anchorage Assembly.

Chris Constant: A video ad by Chris Constant features him and fellow Democrat Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar wearing masks. Constant’s mask appears to have his name on it and the logo for his congressional campaign, but looks ineffective and the circle around his mouth makes him look like he is screaming.

Some of the 48 candidates who hope to replace Don Young in Congress.

Nine of 48: A handful of the 48 candidates attended the virtual forum at UAF this week in Fairbanks, sponsored by Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Senate. The students invited all 48 candidates. By and large these forums are a waste of time for candidates, but this was on Zoom for most of them. Al Gross went to UAF to appear in person.

Radio spot: Nick Begich released his first radio ad, where he emphasized that he would not be a “quitter,” a thinly veiled reference to Sarah Palin. Listen to it here on Facebook if you don’t have a radio. Palin released a video on Facebook saying she is in this “for the long haul.” Nick released a Facebook video as well.

A decent crowd gathered in Soldotna for the Nick Begich fundraiser on Thursday.

Nick Begich: #PickNick had a fundraiser at Mels Bakery in Soldotna; 45 people attended, including a Washington Post reporter; spotted were Richard Derkevorkian, Bill Elam, and Wayne Ogle, all on the Kenai Borough Assembly, and Tuckerman Babcock, running for state Senate.

A sprinkling of lobbyists for Josh Revak for Congress at the Crystal Saloon. Less than 10 people went to his fundraiser in Juneau on Wednesday.

Josh Revak: At the Crystal Saloon on Front Street in Juneau (old Viking Lounge, old Percy’s Cafe), about 10 politicos showed up for a fundraiser for Josh Revak. Most were lobbyists and legislative aides. Spotted: Rep. James Kaufman, likely to replace Revak in the Senate if the chips fall his way.

Andrew Halcro: The vainglorious gadfly used his podcast to attack Nick Begich. But it appears the Anchorage Daily News has dropped Halcro as a content provider as it is no longer hosting his caustic podcast on its front page. He seems to have disappeared, as a result.

Jeff Lowenfels: In addition to doing the UAF forum, he is still writing a column for the Anchorage Daily News. Lowenfels has radio ads galore on all the main stations. The only others with radio ads right now appear to be Nick Begich and Tara Sweeney, through the independent expenditure group, Alaskans for Tara.

Events: The Kenai Republican’s Club booth at the Kenai Sports and Rec Trade Show featured both Nick Begich and Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Spotted at the show was Rep. Ron Gillham, Senate candidate Tuckerman Babcock, gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce, Marilyn Hueper (wife of lieutenant governor candidate Paul Hueper for candidate Chris Kurka), and Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Nick Begich and Tara Sweeney: The two joined the Alaska Miners Association meeting on Friday morning to discuss their respective campaigns.

Santa Claus has something in common with the late Congressman Don Young — he is in favor of the PRO Act.

Santa Claus: He’s getting those national news stories, and a lot of people on Twitter are saying they are going to vote for him. Tune in Monday to the Must Read Alaska Show, when we’ll ask him if he is really a “commie,” as characterized by one of his competitors.

Endorsements: Mat-Su Valley Districts 25 and 26 Republican committees made several endorsements, including Kelly Tshibaka for Senate, Nick Begich for House, Shelley Hughes for State Senate, and DeLena Johnson and Cathy Tilton for Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy was in Houston, Texas this week for fundraiser and then flew back to be at the Kenai Sports and Rec Trade Show. He has a new campaign headquarters — the old Alaskans for Don Young office on Fairbanks Street near Fireweed Lane.

Check back in a couple of days for another edition of “Notes from the campaign trail.”

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Revak is showing his true colors as his campaign struggles garnering support. He’s trying to trade his support for HB55, the defined benefit bill, for Union campaign support, especially hoping they fund an independent expenditure committee (is that even legal?). Then, he was the deciding vote against a bigger PFD. When you get your PFD, remember it would have been about a $1000 more if it weren’t for the super-sleazy Senator Revak.
    Revak is leading the pack of being the worst legislator of the year.

    • Well said, Hal. Revak is already doing everything that a swamp creature does, including being a bar fly, it appears.

    • All well said, Hal. Revak is a slimeball, pure and simple.
      Plus, I could never vote for somebody who looks like they are always crying.

  2. For the betting crowd: Sara Palin got off a mailer that arrived in the mail same day as our ballot! That gives her pro points!
    Big bright red card with her and Trump. Well done. If our mailbox is any indicator, no one else managed to pull it off in the very short time available.

  3. Begich had his parade rained on by Sarah Palin. We are going to have an interesting cast of characters in Congress next year if we can reign in Dominion Voting systems and mail in ballot fraud!

    • > if we can reign in Dominion Voting systems and mail in ballot fraud!

      Not possible. The people with the authority to address those two things have a vested interest in seeing them continue.

      • Fish Food & James make good points but there is always something we can do about it. Never give up the fight for freedom and organize a push back. This nation belongs to the people and we have been pushed around for too long. They want you to believe that there is nothing you can do about it. Wrong! The poster child for the way to win this fight is Virginia. They knew that allowing McAuliffe to win back the Governorship would be the end of their State and parents would be stripped of their ability to have a say in the education system that was brainwashing their kids. They said, Hell no! Virginia had over 90% of their population involved in poll watching and keeping an eye on their mail-in-ballot boxes to keep the fake ballot mules away. They got organized and voted in numbers they couldn’t overcome with their fake ballots. That is why Virginia is now a free State again from the corrupt establishment. Alaskans better get onboard the mobilization train and organize. We need to show the corrupt politicians we will not roll over for you. MELT DUNLEAVY’S PHONE and demand the Dominion Machines & Mail-in Voting must stop and to take executive action to protect Alaska’s elections. Vote for Chris Kurka for Governor. He is the only candidate running on election integrity and he will correct their fraud system and clean the voter rolls.

  4. I’m considering voting for Revak in the special election primary for one reason and one reason only, due to the timeframe if Revak gets enough interest and makes the top four in the special election then he will run for the regular US Congress election…this effectively takes him out of the State Senate. He won’t win in a top four. The left has been using this tactic for years, it’s time the right start using it as well.

    With a top four general election the more candidates from the right (even if marginally so) the better.

    • Campaign slogans: “Sweeney for the Swing Vote”; “Clownworld with Constant”; “Union Elves Endorse Santa”; Begich: “A Bitcoin in Every Pot.” Revak: “Don Young was my daddy.” Palin: “I won’t quit this time. I promise!”

    • Steve-O, The special election for US House is June 11th and the filing deadline for State Senate/House seats is June 1st. Revak can only run in one seat and he seems to be confident enough to be in the top four for US House. So…vote wisely.

    • I’m all in if this works in the rights favor. I need resources for this. We have to get the majority.

  5. “Tara for Alaska” kinda sounds like a certain other candidate’s site”Sarah for Alaska” lame, lame,lame!

  6. Whether Democrat, Republican or Independent this should make you realize you are being ‘played’, especially with this current mail-in race. Why does Alaska, with such a very small population that would be so easy to monitor for integrity, allow this to happen?? Someone will be picking our leaders but it won’t be the voters.
    Link to video below 2000 Mules:

  7. My ballot hasn’t arrived, though it was supposed to be here over a week ago according to my Informed Delivery daily email from the USPS. Same for my husband. A co-worker with a PO Box also never got her ballot. This election is clearly set up to be rigged in a leftist direction. I have zero faith in the integrity of the outcome.

    • I did get my ballot in the mail — with the spelling of my last name absolutely slaughtered.
      Can you say “instantly invalidated” ballot?

  8. Have you looked at the Special Primary Election Ballot? It appears that the names are listed Alphabetically , however on my ballot the list begins with Coghill at the top of the left hand column runs through to Stephan Wright and then begins again with Aguayo? What’s up with that? Essentially it places Nick B III in last 7/8 ‘s of the column?
    Who comes up with this stuff? Logically Aguayo should lead off the list and Wright at last place. Interesting… Claus, SANTA is dead last!

    Hey, didn’t the Chi-Coms purchase Dominion voting machines in 2020? Perhaps Dominion’s Chi-Com computer program is ordering this listing of the candidates. Ya never know… and that is part of the problem.

  9. I have never received my ballot. My husband got his but the post office seems to have lost mine.

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