Notes from the trail: State fair brings out candidates


The Alaska State Fair parade brought out some candidates, while others stayed away, perhaps waiting for an appearance at the fair itself.

Spotted in the parade were floats and trucks for Nick Begich for Congress and Kelly Tshibaka for U.S. Senate, both with lots of supporters. There was no sign of Sarah Palin or Mary Peltola, candidates for Congress. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign has a booth at the fair, which will help her reach 295,000 visitors.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy was present in the judging stand.

Nick Begich was spotted at the Alaska State Fair on Saturday, as well, evidently not slowing down in his run for Congress, even though he trails Peltola and Palin. Lieutenant Governor candidate Nancy Dahlstrom was spotted at the fair, as was Stuart Graham, legislative candidate for Wasilla, who volunteered at the Mat-Su Republican Women’s booth.

Nick Begich, left, among friends at Alaska State Fair.

Dunleavy fundraiser: Gov. Dunleavy was feted with a campaign fundraiser in Kenai at Davis Block & Concrete on Friday. About 50 people attended, many of them coming directly from fishing for salmon in the Kenai Classic, which was held this weekend. Spotted were Jim Udelhoven, Ben Mohr, Eldon and Karina Mulder, Ron and Tracy Palm, Scott and Regina Davis, Adam Crum, Bill Eckhardt, Mike Flores, Kerri Nelson, Mike Crawford, Steve Norville, Tuckerman Babcock, and Henry Penney.

At the Kenai Classic was Sen. Lisa Murkowski and staff, Sen. Dan Sullivan and staff, several state representatives and senators, and Americans for Prosperity State Director Bernadette Wilson with a couple of her national directors: Chris Hudson, national legislative director, Jeff Crank, regional director, and Brent Gardner, chief government affairs officer. Over $165,000 was raised for the habitat protection program. Sullivan Chief of Staff Larry Burton was on the same boat as political consultant Robert Dillon, former Murkowski staffer working to preserve ranked choice voting with his contract with Alaskans for Better Elections. Also spotted were DEC Commissioner Jason Brune, State Sen. David Wilson, Sen. Bill Wielechowski, but no Sen. Scott Kawasaki, of the famous “hold my beer,” incident last year, when he brought an open container into the vehicle of Sen. Josh Revak, who was stopped for speeding and then had to explain why there was an open beer can in the cup holder.

Tuckerman and Kristie Babcock at fundraiser.

Babcock for Senate fundraiser: A fundraiser for Tuckerman Babcock for Alaska Senate netted over $14,000 at the birthday-themed party at the Babcock residence in Soldotna. It was a celebration of his wife, Kristie Babcock, who marked the completion of 55 years circling the sun and who donated her birthday party to the campaign of her husband Tuckerman. Silent auction, gun auction, cake, and about 50-60 in attendance rounded out the mid-August party. Spotted at the fundraiser were Tom and Adele Bearup, Mike Crawford, Wayne Ogle, Jon and Angela Leichliter, Charlie Franz and Kathy Toms, Barb Blakeley, Cindy Glassmaker, Melodie Allen, Loren and Dianna Hollers, Tom Bedunnah, Robert and Renae Wall, Virginia Fraase and her famous salmon fritters by Hearth Eatery, Jim and Kim Minnery, Walt and Mary Lynne Wood, Chuck and Jeannette Rodgers, Susan Lockwood, Gwen Woodard, and Mike and Kathy Medcoff, Cathy Sturman, Randy and Mary Daly.

Sen. Mike Shower being interviewed by a reporter from Slate.

Valley Republican Women’s Chili Cook-off drew dozens of people to the Palmer Depot in downtown Palmer for this annual event. With Sen. David Wilson not arriving back from the Kenai Classic in time to cook up his famous chili, which has won for two years in a row, Sen. Mike Shower came in first in the battle of the chilis. Spotted at the cook-off were several valley lawmakers, including Wasilla Mayor Glenda Ledford. Lieutenant Gov. candidate Edie Grunwald competed in the chili contest.

Les Gara with Hmong dancers in Anchorage.

Les Gara hanging out with Hmong: Les Gara for governor was spotted hanging with the Hmong dancers at the Hmong New Year celebration in Anchorage. In their homeland in Laos, the Hmong traditionally celebrate the new year after the rice has been harvested, usually in April.

In Iowa: Former Vice President Mike Pence visited the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, on Friday.


  1. How’d Pence rate to get a mention ?
    Somebody throwing rotten tomatoes ?
    Man I’m so sick of these self-serving career politicians. I’d sure like to see term limits!

  2. As I’ve said several times now, Palin got in late, hasn’t campaigned much and didn’t pass the Democrat in the race. Palin should hand the baton back over to Begich and help the guy beat Peltola. They have some making up to do but we have to sort things out or we are risking the state.

    • With Begich we are risking another RINO. If Begich ends up winning after Trump endorsed Palin, Begich will probably have a grudge against MAGA and end up voting with Biden half the time.

  3. They put my noodle stand way down at the end of the road, with no customers. WTF. I thought Alaskans liked fresh-made noodles.

  4. Just once I’d like to see something like this:

    Candidate A was found puking over a barrel.
    Candidate B’s booth was giving out free edibles.
    Candidate C was spotted dancing badly at the beer garden
    Candidate D was trying to pick up a date.
    Candidate E’s float had strippers.

    Grip/grins and baby kissing isn’t news. Or even interesting.

  5. How about a straight up debate between Begich and Sarah! No? huh, wonder why?
    As for a debate between Kelly and Daddies little Princess you will never get Lisa to go in for that. Kelly would clean her clock and Lisa knows it.

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