Notes from the trail: Peltola ups her sign game as congressional race enters last week for primary


With over 98,000 votes already in, the race for Congress is nearing its first pivot point — the June 11 deadline for ballots for the special primary election. Some candidates are running through the tape, while others have faded on the turns. Some observations:

Media buys: Everything is placed, so there are not many new media buys to report since Tuesday. Al Gross moved another $40,000 into media, which brought his totals to about $235,000, for radio, broadcast, and cable from May 31 through the June 11 period. Tara Sweeney’s campaign has has no new media buys since Tara’s independent expenditure group placed a $50,000 purchase on May 25, bringing that broadcast and cable total to $231,000 (plus what her own campaign has spent, which puts the total spend over $305,000). Sarah Palin is still at $30,000 for radio. Mary Peltola has $18,000 in radio, mainly in Juneau, where she also has TV.

Door-knocking: The only campaign doing traditional door-knocking seems to be the pro-Nick Begich camp, and that is begin done by Americans for Prosperity Action. They have a massive door-knocking effort underway this weekend across Southcentral, with as many as 50 volunteers.

Sightings: Tara Sweeney is available to meet with people at the Girdwood Brewing Co. on Friday evening, 5-7 pm. Sarah Palin had a tele-rally with former President Donald Trump. Peltola is having a fundraiser in Juneau at the whale sculpture this weekend. It looks like the weather will be good in Juneau. Nick Begich has a private fundraiser in Stuckagain on Saturday and a big fundraiser on June 9 at a hangar in Anchorage. Al Gross was in Sitka last week and is in Wasilla and Palmer today after speaking at the Democrat Bartlett Club in Anchorage a few days ago.

Endorsements: Donald Trump Jr. Dan Bongino, Sen. Rand Paul all came out for Sarah Palin in the past three days, while Alaska Rep. George Rauscher, Stephanie Taylor, and Shelton Prout (Kodiak) are new endorsements for Nick Begich.

Al Gross has five Republican endorsers, very few fellow doctors, and lots of Democrats backing him for Congress. He looks like he’ll be in the final four, from the size of his list and the spend of his dollars right now on advertising.

New York Times: The story by the New York Times on the congressional race finally posted this week. You can read it at this link, but it will probably be behind the paywall. Here are the first paragraphs of purple prose about breakup:

“The race began, fittingly, in the spring season known here as breakup.

“As sheets of ice cracked into pieces across the rivers, melting snow exposed the gravel and dust on roads, and preparations began for hunting and fishing, dozens of congressional campaigns were springing to life with barely a few days of planning. Candidates held solemn conversations with their families, advisers hastily secured website domains and the endorsements and donations began flooding in.

“The unexpected death in March of Representative Don Young, the Republican who represented Alaska’s sole congressional district for nearly half a century, has given rise to a crowded and raucous race to succeed him. No fewer than four dozen Alaskans — political veterans, gadflies, and even a man legally named Santa Claus — are running to succeed Mr. Young as the lone representative in the House for the state’s 734,000 people.

“The list of candidates is sprawling. It includes former Gov. Sarah Palin, who is endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump; Nick Begich III, whose grandfather held the seat before Mr. Young; four Alaska Natives, including one, Tara Sweeney, who served in the Trump administration; Jeff Lowenfels, a retired lawyer and a prolific local gardening columnist; and Mr. Claus, a portly, bearded North Pole councilman and socialist.

“That’s a lot of people to do research on and figure out,” said Morgan Johnson, 25, as her black cat, Edgar, prowled across the counter of her plant shop in Juneau. “I get stuck on one person’s Instagram for an hour — now I have to do that for 48 people.”

New York Magazine: The urban New York publication has a story about Alaska’s “Weird New Election System,” ranked choice voting mess and how it is vexing both candidates and voters. Democrats are struggling, the magazine reports. Read it here.

Must Read Alaska Show: Nick Begich was the most recent guest for the Must Read Alaska Show. Watch it on Facebook or call it up at any of your podcast providers (Google Play, iTunes, Pandora). Others have appeared, including Jeff Lowenfels, Tara Sweeney, Santa Claus, John Coghill, and we’ve invited both Sarah Palin and Chris Constant.

Pride and prejudice: Chris Constant, running for Congress, wrote an essay for Pride Month saying it is important for gays to be elected and claiming that he has been threatened and belittled for being gay. His essay is here. We’re waiting for confirmation on the alleged threats.

More alphabet pride: Mary Peltola chimed in for Pride Month with this alphabet soup comment: “May we remember the activists—mostly QTBIPOC—who came generations before us and fought hard for change, for equality, and for civil rights. Today we continue the fight for our neighbors, our loved ones and our youth. LGBTQIA2S+ Alaskans deserve to love and live freely and safely.”

In honor of Pride Month, candidate Andrew Halcro posted photos of himself from 2013 at a gay parade in Anchorage, above.

Offenses: Andrew “See why Halcro makes perfect sense!” Halcro still cannot figure out how to make his campaign ads legal. The “Paid for” part has to be in a box, per the Federal Elections Commission. He has racked up dozens of violations at this point, but doesn’t seem to care. Also, he still has not filed his financial report with the Clerk of the Congress, per law, and it is apparent he is not going to reveal his financial possible conflicts so the public can take a look. Candidate Josh Revak has also failed to file his financial disclosure, as required by law.

A fake Twitter account was posted recently that appears to belong to Mary Peltola, catching the eye of wary Democrats who asked Peltola if the account belonged to her. It does not, and she has reported it to Twitter:


  1. The best candidate knows and defends the peoples’ Constitutional liberties and rights. Nick Begich.

  2. Palin is 58. Don Young was in Congress for 22 years before he started as chair of a committee, a position he held for 8 years. Get a calculator and do the math. NB3 is our only shot at getting seniority again or we won’t get it for another 50 years.

    • Republicans have changed their rules on committee chairs to get more turnover. Working across the aisle has more importance than tto Alaska rying to move far left, or far right

  3. I am disappointed that want-to-be lawmakers look upon themselves as being above the law. Both Mr Halcro and Revak have failed to file the necessary reports to be a legal candidate. Shame on them. They need to follow the law before being allowed to make laws.

Comments are closed.