Republican congressional candidates attend forum, but Palin is a no-show, again


The Anchorage Republican Women’s Club had placed a “No” sign on an empty chair with former Gov. Sarah Palin’s name on it on Wednesday night, and left it by the side of the table where the other leading Republican candidates for Congress were seated for a spirited candidate forum in midtown Anchorage.

Palin had been noncommittal about attending the forum, and had advised the influential group of conservatives in Anchorage on Tuesday that she would not be able to fit their marquee event into her schedule.

Club President Judy Eledge was not amused, and reminded the room of over 75 people that the club had worked hard to get Palin elected as governor in 2006, and had also worked hard to set a date that would work with Palin’s schedule for this forum.

Palin also took a pass on the Republican forum in Juneau earlier this month and has generally taken a harsh line against Alaska Republicans, calling them a “good old boys’ network.”

Attending the forum were former Sen. John Coghill, Tara Sweeney, Nick Begich, and Sen. Josh Revak. The four spent an hour fielding questions on everything from abortion to the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration law.

John Coghill, Tara Sweeney, Nick Begich, and Josh Revak, all Republican candidates for Congress.

During the candidate-to-candidate questions, Begich asked Coghill, “What do you think is important as Alaskans head to polls that they need to know about Sarah Palin?”

Coghill jokingly held the microphone to the empty chair as if to ask Palin for a response. The room broke out in laughter. Then he said, that while he likes Palin, “I think her celebrity has gone beyond her ability to work seriously for Alaska.” The audience was largely supportive of Coghill’s comment.

The four Republican candidates agreed on most items, and they each scored points for how they would defend Alaska in Washington, D.C. On issues like abortion and the trend of transgenders taking over women’s sports, Sweeney distinguished herself as the social liberal among the panel, while the other three were unequivocally pro-life and willing to defend women’s sports. Also, during the last question, defining what a woman is, Sweeney would only answer that, “I’m a woman,” while the others on the panel referred to the science of x and y chromosomes and genetic expression, and the wrongness of grooming children into thinking they are a different gender.

On the question of whether they would have voted for a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, Nick Begich was the only panelist who said that European countries and other NATO countries needed to step up more and that America should be concerned about defending its own borders; he would not have voted for the $40 billion aid. The others would have. The crowd largely agreed with Nick.

The only attack on a candidate came from Sweeney, who badgered Nick Begich for having run a negative campaign against Don Young when he was alive. Begich defended his record, saying he had only differentiated himself from Young on issues of policy: He would not have voted for the PRO Act, because it’s anti-business, and he would not have voted for Biden’s infrastructure bill, which only 13 Republicans voted for. Begich also would not have voted for the vaccine database, as Rep. Young had done, or the “red flag” gun control laws that Young had voted for. Begich said he was running an issues-based campaign and was not afraid to talk about the issues.

All of the panelists were advocates for Alaska energy, all think the Biden Administration is a disaster, and all of them would replace Deb Haaland as the secretary of the Department of Interior.

About a third of the people attending the event raised their hand when asked if the evening’s event had helped them make up their minds about who to support in the special election to fill out the remainder of the term of Congressman Don Young.

Ballots must be returned to the Division of Election by June 11. The top four vote getters will appear on the Aug. 16 ballot, where voters will then use the ranked choice method to pick their favorite. It’s the first time Alaskans have used the new voting scheme developed by Ballot Measure 2 of 2020.

Also on the August ballot will be candidates for the primary for the regular election.


  1. How well do any of them actually know what the US Constitution actually says on every issue? They might be surprised. What are any of them doing to strengthen their knowledge of and committment to applying the US Constitution in evefh instance. The Dems regard the Constitution as garbage.

  2. Sarah’s too busy making whoopie with her new hockey boyfriend, and hanging with Teddie Nugent. She doesn’t even like living in Alaska anymore. This is the kind of person Alaskans don’t want as their congressperson. Most everyone I know has already voted for NB3, including myself.

  3. As a long time Alaskan, you can see the writing one the walls with Palin.
    Let’s go Nick,,,,,,

  4. We need oil and gas investors in Alaska and fast, yesterday’s Alaska’s Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale had only one bidder on two small tracts because of the bad oil and gas regulations and massive red tape! Alaska needs to be friendly to oil and gas or they will go other places and leave Alaska in its continuous oil decline.

    • Yes, that’s the whole point of Biden Administration’s shutting down these things. It’s ON PURPOSE, too! While they “claim” it’s ‘environmental’…it’s REALLY about taking down America. What you are experiencing now is a manufactured crisis to weaken America and its citizens.

  5. Thank you for posting this, Suzanne, and for summarizing the candidate’s answers.
    It helps confirm my leaning toward voting for NB3, because I like his answers.
    The U.S. has no business sending $40billion of taxpayer monies to the corrupt Ukraine, while opening
    our own border.

  6. Vote for Queen Sarah. Go ahead.

    Then don’t complain when she becomes an attention strumpet like AOC or Taylor Green. And is regarded as a joke by Congress.

    Knock yourselves out.

  7. I will support the only Republican candidate who supports the Alaska Constitution and a woman’s right to privacy, Tara Sweeney

  8. Anti life and anti science Miss Tara just reinforced why I will never vote for a Native woman “leader” Not a one of them can be brave enough to embrace life and reality instead of constantly glomming onto the Democrat platform.
    Why does she try to call herself a Republican, then turn around and support ultra leftist policies and fantasies?
    FYI, I AM (not just identify AS) an Alaskan Native grandma!

  9. So, the expected replies from the SDS crowd now, eh? This was not supposed to be a junior high school mockery and taunting article, was it? We need to hear more of how the candidates stand on things like abortion and alternative gender fantasies that rule our lives now! Thanks for outing Miss Tara on those!

    Enough with attacking one candidate….there should be enough civility to include everyone! Leave Sarah alone….all your snideness and trolling her constantly will end up electing her! True dat! Because, at this point, electors have a clue!!!! The GOP and Democrats are all the same….we need to hear from their mouths how they stand on issues….personally!!!!!! Not this SDS leading into every report.

    • You Palin Bots never address any of the Palin criticism. I would vote for the Cat Mayor of Talkeetna before an airhead like Sarah Palin!

  10. These candidates have shown up every time. Palin has now skipped 3 of her 5 candidate forums. Sarah Palin confirms what we already suspected… she isn’t all that interested in Alaska and she doesn’t have time to do the job.

  11. Sweeney need to be more concerned over her campaign and all her future political endeavors than nicholas begichs. Although i think her political ship has a hole and taking in water. She done for. Next time she can run as a democrat, but she’ll have to leave urban alaska and live in a rural dominate native town. Young aspiring native leaders like teens today be best advice to distance themselves from native
    politics and its institutions. They will pick up dysfunctional tactics like shame and tribal culture which alienates them from being known and respected by every group outside their own identity.

  12. I don’t know the backgrounds on most of the candidates running but I do know that what we need in DC is a business person that understands what it is to make payroll and when it is necessary to cut budgets to meet the intake. For too long we have Politicians in DC that are Lawyers that have no understanding of fiscal responsibility. Revak lost me when he went back on his word in Juneau and your word is the first thing that you have that shows how you are going to represent the people who send you to government. In Combat your left and right have to know that what you say is what you mean to do and Revak has lost that trust from a fellow Combat Veteran. Your service is not the only measure of your ability to do what is right or wrong. Therefore Begich is my choice.

  13. Political parties do not matter in Ranked Choice Voting.
    As far as Sarah’s standing in the Republican Party, I turn to the nemesis of the Republican Party Obama.
    In 2016, a Time magazine article quoted Obama when he cited Sarah as the starter for the Tea Party, which was the starter for the Make America Great Again,MAGA movement. The great awaking to the American Public that both the establishment Republicans and crazy Democrats were not looking out for the average American.
    Trump’s success on asking “why” to the political establishment has changed the landscape. Americans today are switching long established ties to traditional parties. Labor to Republicans, Wall Street to Democrats. Minorities are flocking to the Republicans, abandoning long standing sure bet votes for Democrats.
    So what did Sarah miss at the Republican forum? A lame joke from someone who could not get re-elected in his own district after being the mastermind of the worst crime bill in Alaska History SB91.
    The foundational presence that Sarah brings to the MAGA movement is untouchable.
    For me I love it when Dan Sullivan takes on Biden. I welcome Sarah to follow suit in exposing the lies of this phony President as she has been consistently since she has been in the media spot light.
    When you go to a Championship Game you do not send your third string.
    I will vote for, support, and campaign for our home grown Super Star Sarah.

  14. Did they talk about where each of them stand on State’s rights and federal overreach? As well as the push by Alaskan natives for co-management of fish and wildlife? That’s where I worry Sweeney would lean liberal, she is already being lobbied hard by Alaskan Tribal interests. Alaska needs to hold tight to their state-sovereign right to manage fish and wildlife for all Alaskans. ANCSA was a grand compromise, we cannot forget what rights were signed over to the state for the 44 million acres of land and $1B that went into forming Alaska’s Native Corporations. On this topic, I trust Sarah, Josh, Nick and John to truly fight for all Alaskans.

  15. We proudly voted for Sarah. And I guess we are a bit disappointed that people are going into the past to make snide comments about her. Wasn’t Sarah one of the major forces behind the Tea Party movement? Wasn’t Sarah the Vice Presidential candidate that put Alaska on the National Political map? She did resign as Governor but how many of you can remember why. She spent most of her time fighting off jealous women that had nothing better to do than to sue her for whatever they could imagine was happening. I just saw, again, the comment that she should go back to Arizona. And maybe why don’t you tell Nick Begich to go back to spend his time in India and Croatia where a good portion of his businesses are? Proud to support Sarah Palin and let her know that she does have support out here.

  16. Sara is showing her true colors: when the heat is turned up she doesn’t show, or QUITS! Imagine how she’ll fare in DC where they are all “good ol’ boys” and where politics is real!

  17. I think Alaska has way more rino’s than true republicans 100% so I think Sara’s understands all this just fine. Just watch the Alaskans come to the aid of our governor who is for of and by the people. It’s shameful how you cut her down fair and square elections let the voters vote and let that vote stand as it will on its own integrity. Dunleavy Sara never would of did to Lora rienbold what you did to miss integrity, you fake republican governor dunleavy the exposed rino ball less corrupt coward.

  18. I suspect that knife in her back from the likes of Schmidt and friends is still bleeding. Once knifed, why give them another chance? I’m surprised Trump has anything to do with the party anymore. Maybe he’ll eventually give up on them, too. They’re a bunch of Whigs, if you ask me.

    • I sure hope your not inferring than Palin is has the knowledge of a constitutional scholar, because she ain’t even close.

  19. We need the person who knows the US Constitution and will apply it in each instance limitations and all. He must loyally apply it. Our nationhood is at stake. Nothing else matters at this time.

  20. Palin? Campaigning in Zaza? Isn’t it the rule to campaign where one is running? How dull. Why not do exactly, and only, what one vaunted one feels like doing? I like the energy in Caan.

  21. Lol at all the hate. Not that I’m voting for Palin but must read Alaska seriously reminds me of Little Ben Shapiro going off on another one his celebrity Crush rants when it comes to Palin. 😆

  22. Hmmm. Tara is losing lots of ground in “my rankings”, maybe all the way down to the double digits. I have met some very sharp conservative minded natives and I was hopeful that she was one of them. Looks like she’s not.

    There are women and there are transgender women. A transgender woman is never the same as a woman, and that may seem unfortunate to a some transgender women, but life is full of unfortunate things. This isn’t complicated. It’s just a hard reality for a very few and it’s just self righteous bs for too many others. And calling out Nick Begich for negative campaigning is her partaking in negative campaigning according to her very broad definition of it. That’s the kind of hypocrisy and lack of self awareness that I’m tired of. I do think we should encourage candidates to not vilify each other to extremes, but I see nothing wrong with pointing out how some of the opponent’s decisions are bad. And she obviously doesn’t either.

  23. Palin quit her job as Governor because it wasn’t fun anymore. And those pesky ethics complaints were becoming a problem. As a person who spent significant time and money in an effort to get her elected, I felt betrayed. I am confident that many other Alaskans feel the same. I will not make the same mistake this time.

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