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Notes from the trail: Candidates and a huge turnout on the Kenai at a Republican get-out-the-vote rally

At a packed house at a campaign rally in Soldotna, there was notable enthusiasm for the Republican candidates, with headliners Kelly Tshibaka for Senate, Nick Begich for Congress, and Charlie Pierce for Governor. A representative for Gov. Mike Dunleavy was also there.

Organizers said the get out the vote rally at Soldotna Sports Center had “tons of newcomers. People came early and stayed late they were motivated to come up to candidates after the rally to sign up to help and hand over donations.” Pictured above are from left, Rep. Ben Carpenter, Heath Smith, Charlie Pierce, Nick Begich, Kelly Tshibaka, Rep. Ron Gillham, Rep. Sarah Vance, and Tuckerman Babcock, who was the emcee.

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“Nick Begich and Kelly Tshibaka were in sync like I’ve never seen before,” said one attendee. “She was very warm toward Nick when they were campaigning together on the Kenai.” Earlier, Tshibaka had been more in sync with Sarah Palin, but something has changed.

Tshibaka thanked Babcock, saying he was the best boss she had ever had (he was chief of staff when she was commissioner of Administration.) The event was hosted by Kenai Peninsula Republican Women’s Club.

Debate watch party – Save the Date:

Among items to be auctioned at the Nick Begich fundraiser, all kinds of Trump-signed paraphernalia, prints signed by Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, a vintage Chilkoot Charlie’s mug, a book autographed by Karl Rove, a gift certificate to White Spot Cafe, an autographed 1980 U.S. Olympic Mens Hockey Team poster, about about 20 other auction items that are of interest to Alaska history buffs.

In the national media:

Politico story on the Peltola-Begich says Alaska could be bellwether.

Yahoo News on why Don Young staffers are backing Peltola at this link.

Former staff and friends have signed a letter — which was shared with Insider and released after publication on Friday — urging Alaska voters to give the congresswoman a full, two-year term, highlighting Peltola’s “commitment to running a positive race, bipartisan approach to public service, and legislative priorities that put Alaska at the forefront.”

Evidently, they didn’t see this story about the D.C. Mafia:

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. Hopefully the Conservatives will realize the benefits of ranked choice voting. The signs are already there that RCV promotes moderation and voter interest.

    • There are zero benefits to ranked choice voting. There are numerous ways for your vote to not count. It should be one person one vote. There is no reason to change that other than to help in shenanigans. Whatever happened to count every vote? I research and decide who I want to vote for. I don’t care about a second choice because I have already decided who I want. I don’t care about second or third choices. And the way the ranked choice voting works means the third place vote getter can win. How can we as a people determine who actually voted for who?

  2. A recap of this lineup in late November would be telling. Who won? And among those, why? What are our lessons learned?

    One thing that won’t work is to spew hate and blame broken voting machines if / where we lose. We have to be smarter than that

    • Blame? Do some research and/ or please get smarter- our vote is counted by dominion in this state- do you have any clue what that means? Not betraying you, asking a couple of legitimate questions

  3. Funny thing here is that the Democrats know and have clearly articulated the clear and present problem with the Republican candidates. They are reveling in knowing that with two strong candidates who will not back down mixed with an electorate who can’t see the value in promoting our values over a candidate and refusing to rank the red, they will win. They are loving it. Don’t forget this because, with deeply divided Republicans who will not acquiesce for the good of the party ideals, Petila and Murkowski will be re-elected and then what. Complaints??? Think at the ballot box people! Vote for the conservative ideology first and foremost. Then the majority of the state will have support for their ideals.

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