Notes from the trail: Valdez Gold Rush Days, Metlakatla Founders Day


There are just eight days left before the end of the Alaska primary and special general election. Some of the candidates are running hard through the tape, and some are barely running.

Valdez had a rainy start to Gold Rush Days. The rain let up on Sunday morning, but it’s pouring Sunday afternoon and everyone is hunkered down under the tents.

Kelly Tshibaka, running for U.S. Senate, was in Willow on Saturday for a mix-and-mingle event. She held a town hall meeting in Valdez later Saturday, with about 25 people in attendance, and was in the Gold Rush Days parade on Sunday. Tshibaka, the strongest candidate to take on Sen. Lisa Murkowski in years, heads back to Anchorage later Sunday.

Mary Peltola, running for Congress for the Democrats, went to Metlakatla for the Founders Day celebration and stopped in Ketchikan for the Blueberry Festival.

Nick Begich, running for Congress, was in Willow for a candidate event, and is in Valdez for Gold Rush Days. He’ll be in Fairbanks for a meet-and-greet on Monday.

There’s no sign of Sarah Palin in Alaska. Running for Congress against Begich and Peltola, she had spent some of the week in Texas and then disappeared from the public eye again.

Also spotted at the Valdez parade: Sen. Mike Shower and his Republican competition Doug Massie. Rep. George Rauscher also had a booth.

Bill Walker, running for governor, has been in Fairbanks campaigning and will then be in Seward Monday for a meet and greet at the Gateway Hotel. Then he’s back to Fairbanks for another meet-and-greet at an equipment rental company.

Les Gara, running for governor, will be in Dillingham on Aug. 9 at the boat harbor for a meet and greet on government property, but hopefully he won’t be fundraising on public property if he doesn’t have a permit. It’s kind of a gray area, but a Republican could not get away with that. On Aug. 11, Gara and his running mate will have a barbecue at a 10th Avenue home in Anchorage.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy was in his official capacity his his visit to Metlakatla in Southeast Alaska for Founders Day, marking the 135th anniversary of the town, and then he zipped up to Nome to examine the port, was in meetings with locals about national security and the Port of Nome, and discuss the landmark appropriation of $250 million recently obtained from the federal government for that deepwater project.

Republican Senate Majority fundraisers: Republicans in the Alaska Senate have a fundraiser honoring a life of service by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer on Aug. 11 at Saint Coyote Restaurant in Anchorage. Lots of “who’s who” on the flyer as sponsors.

On Election Night, they have another fundraiser, but at Fat Ptarmigan Restaurant in downtown Anchorage, where Republican senators and their allies will wait for election results and raise money for the November election.

Endorsements: Republicans in District 34, Northeast Fairbanks, endorsed Nick Begich for Congress.

District 29 Republican Committee Endorsements

State House Nominee: George Rauscher

State Senate Nominee: Mike Shower

US Congress: Nick Begich III

US Senate: Kelly Tshibaka

Rep Rauscher’s Endorsement of Governor Dunleavy

Alaska Republican Party Endorsements

US Congress: Nick Begich III

US Senate: Kelly Tshibaka

Governor: Mike DunleavyCharlie Pierce

State House: George Rauscher

State Senate: Mike Shower

Campaign springs to life for Andrew Satterfield: Don’t write off the arguably nicest, most normal and balanced candidate for Senate Seat J — Andrew Satterfield. While Democrats battle it out between the hardline partisans Forrest Dunbar and Geran Tarr, Satterfield is a normal human, a family man, a small business owner, and a proud, lifelong Alaskan who believes in the powerful opportunities our country has made available to every American. His website is up and running at

Spotted at a block party in East Anchorage, Stanley Wright, running for House District 22. (Also spotted, Stephanie Taylor and Nick Begich.)


  1. Wow! Sarah is still avoiding the people, just like she did as governor. Suzanne writes:

    “There’s no sign of Sarah Palin in Alaska. Running for Congress against Begich and Peltola, she had spent some of the week in Texas and then disappeared from the public eye again.”

    Sarah’s former, inner circle staffer, Frank Bailey wrote:

    “Getting Sarah to meetings and events was like nailing Jell-O to a tree.” “On the campaign trail and as governor, Sarah went through at least ten schedulers, with few lasting more than months. Nobody wanted the job because Sarah might fail to honor, at the last minute, the smallest commitments, and making excuses for her became a painful burden.”

    Frank Bailey Speaks Out On Tell-All Book About Sarah Palin — “If she made it to the White House and I had stayed silent I could never forgive myself”

    “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years, by Frank Bailey” (Palin’s high level staffer)

    • Sarah may be AWOL, but when I got home today there was a voice mail message asking me to join her and President Trump in a campaign telcon… Not listening to Sarah pleas for worship – I’m voting for Nick.

  2. Suzanne wow ma’am I had no idea just how much of a headache it is, to do what you do here. I just want you to know your a cut above the rest big time. Your site has helped me so much, your a blast, just look at the team the republicans have put together, out with the old in with the new. Kelly is a flat out GOD send for us. Must read, must read, must read, Suzanne Suzanne Suzanne.

  3. Palin according to the news is not even in the state. Remember this voters ,it’s all about her. And please do not forget what China Walker did to our PFD, and he just said he plans to take more, he wants to tax us, please do not allow him to rib us again

    • Jim, you were doxing someone by putting a phone number in your comment. You are on the verge of being banned for your trolling. – sd

  4. No gray in Dunleavy’s visit to Nome. Definitely not campaigning as he has always railed against Federal overreach and the Infrastructure project passed by the Senator he can’t endorse

    • Frank,
      Please do some research about who currently has ownership of Alaska lands and who is supposed to have ownership of same.
      While you are at it you might ponder how it is that the Feds only own 1.6% of Texas while they own significantly more of Alaska. Also please consult the Constitution of these United States, look for the something about the Feds only owning Post Roads, Dock Yards and other “needful buildings”.

      The Senator who cannot be named is a tool of a Colonial Administration, headquartered within the “ten miles square” that every now and then tosses Alaska a BONE, but keeps the Prime Cut for itself.
      Statehood is a cruel joke when you realize that we a a Colony.

  5. Pleeeassseee get Kelly in for Senate. I can’t stand another day of Murkowski ads, claiming she cares for Alaskans. This election can’t come soon enough!

  6. Charlie Pierce Candidate for Governor and running mate Edie Grunwald were at the Willow event and very well received.

  7. Sarah doesn’t have any time for campaigning in Alaska. She was busy running for VP in Dallas this weekend.

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