Republicans, after endorsing Nick Begich for Congress, decline to endorse Palin and three others

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A last-minute request by four Republican candidates for Congress to gain the endorsement of the Alaska Republican Party was debated, amended, but ultimately voted down by the Alaska Republican Party on Saturday.

The Rules Committee’s decision to honor the process the party had established was upheld. Nick Begich had already been endorsed by the party because he had followed the rules and completed the interview procedure for requesting an endorsement prior to the Republican gathering this weekend.

Jerry Ward, a key figure in the campaign of Sarah Palin for Congress, made the request of the State Central Committee on Saturday, saying he had text messages from John Coghill, Josh Revak, Tara Sweeney, and Palin asking that the State Central Committee suspend the party’s rules for endorsements and endorse the four. The day before, Palin had said to the mainstream media that she would not seek the party’s endorsement, but Ward said he had her permission to ask for the endorsement.

There are 16 Republicans on the special election ballot for the temporary seat in Congress, but only Begich, Coghill, Revak, Sweeney, and Palin were invited to participate in the forum at the state convention because they were identified as the most viable.

Sweeney, earlier in the day, had said to the room of over 300 people that the endorsement of Begich was not fair because the delegates had not yet heard from the candidates who were on stage during the candidate forum. Palin also had blasted the party on Friday for the endorsement of Begich, saying it was a “good old boys network.” Begich stayed out of the drama, as he had read the rules, interviewed with the party chairwoman, and put in a formal request in advance of Thursday’s State Central Committee meeting, while the other candidates appeared to be caught flat-footed.

In a separate request, Charlie Pierce had asked for an endorsement for governor and had won that endorsement — again having followed the rules. The party has also endorsed Gov. Mike Dunleavy during its January meeting.

Some in the room at the Westmark said that they didn’t want to give a blanket endorsement to the remaining four after hearing from them briefly in the forum. One said that the forum was a superficial “get to know you” event and that it wasn’t a deep dive into the philosophy and record of each of the candidates. No one on the stage was asked his or her opinion on abortion, for example, a key part of the party platform. The candidates weren’t asked where they stand on the Second Amendment. In short, a few minutes from each candidate answering general questions about what it means to be a Republican was not enough to persuade the voting officers of the party that all of them deserved an endorsement.

The decision would have required a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules. With the combined support of all four candidates teaming up to try to get the group endorsement, the vote to suspend the rules did not even reach the 50 percent threshold.

Those arguing in favor of the blanket endorsement said that with ranked choice voting, the party should be endorsing all of the candidates who claim to be Republicans.

By the time the vote took place, the candidates themselves had left the convention to continue campaigning. Nick Begich, Tara Sweeney, and Josh Revak were spotted at the Wild Sheep Foundation banquet on Saturday night in Anchorage, while Palin was on a plane heading south.

It was a successful week for Nick Begich, who had received the endorsement of Americans for Prosperity Action on Wednesday, the endorsement of Jim and Faye Palin (Palin ex-inlaws), the endorsement of the Alaska Republican Party, and finally, the Mat-Su Young Republicans endorsed him on Saturday.

It was the consensus of several who spoke with Must Read Alaska that Nick Begich also emerged as the winner of the candidate forum at the state convention.

“He crushed it,” said one of the delegates.

The other Republican candidates can still gain the endorsement of the party by following the rules in advance of the July meeting of the party officers.

32 COMMENTS

  1. A couple of Tocqueville quotes should explain the actions of the party powers that be, i.e. another reason why I haven’t been a member of the Republican party for at least the last 20 years. Thus:

    1. There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.

    2. I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.

    • I didn’t get them written down fast enough. I don’t have the actual tally but it was not close. – sd

  2. Coghill too Old. Palin too Immature. Sweeney too Exclusionary. Revak too Unpredictable.
    NB3……Just Right! Nick Begich III for Congress.

    • Revak attended a weekly meeting I am a part of a week ago. He spoke well and answered questions well. He has the support of Young’s widow and that may carry some weight with voters. The party should endorse him I think.
      Coghill and Sweeney are wishy washy potential feathers in the wind.

      • MQ, Revak is the same guy who signed a pledge to vote for the full statutory pfd and then voted against it when he got the opportunity. That alone disqualifies him.

        • Revak got elected solely as an opportunist seeking sympathy votes b/c he was a vet. Laddie Shaw is a vet. And Laddie has far more credentials and valor than Revak.

  3. I’m ready for this primary to be over, so we can narrow it down. What a headache of an election! The Democrats are probably laughing at us.

  4. Shameless Sara’s accomplishments for the citizens as governor alone. Sara is asking for more I’m sure she knows it’s time for the people of the people by the people more than the rest. Alaskans support Sara she supported the citizens as governor. Oath integrity Sara knows what we the citizens need.

  5. Good old Boys/Corrupt Bastards Club! Still in power! Young Nick has already been in the Swamp with Don Young & learned all of the masters corrupt ways! Just what Ak doesn’t need!!

    • Nick Begich III has never served in government before, Ken. He is a private sector guy all his life. That Revak dude was on Don Young’s payroll and has never had anything but a gov’t job. Don taught him all the ways of the swamp. If Nick was such a swamp creature, why didn’t Don endorse him? Because, he went and ran against Don.

  6. Nick Begich Tre’ is a carpetbagger who has no credibility or loyalty. He has done nothing in AK except get in business with his uncles, and turn on Don Young. He’s a Begich, and blood is thicker than water, not to mention their money hangs out together. Is the Republican party now the RINO party?! My God, did you not see the disloyalty and lies against Don Young, and now you want to put someone named Begich in a Republican Congressional Seat. Rhodes Scholars ehh? WAKE UP! No honor, no loyalty (except money and his last name), no credibility here in Alaska (Missouri though), and definitely no conservatism…only carpetbagging.

    • NB3 is not in business with his uncles – he is a solidly conservative Republican and a devout Christian. Yeah, the name makes one wonder; but V, do your homework before you go spouting off your mouth – I’ve spent several hours getting to know Nick, both at meet and greets and while waiting for flights at airports. Nick is the real conservative deal, and will make a great congressman.

  7. Billy, Tricky Nicky was a campaign robber and yes he worked with DY in DC. HE’s A BEGICH and in business with his Uncles…Money and Blood, Dems through and through, and the witless mind-slaves of this state think he is a Conservative Republican…he’s barely an Alaskan.

    • That’s what Alaskans say about our family too:
      .
      “The Murkowskis are barely Alaskans because we’ve been sitting on our throne in DC for 42 years.”

    • Volatiare, “Those that can make you believe absurdities can get you to commit atrocities” , the real Voltaire once said that. I wonder what Voltaire would say of your absurd slander of Nick Begich III?
      As for being a Begich, I think his Grandfather was an excellent man, did alot of good for Alaska, but maybe you wouldn’t know that.
      BTW, fake Voltaire, what qualifications have you to judge who is or isn’t an Alaskan? Did you form your opinions listening to Sarah Palin or was it the Bear Doctor? Just wondering…

  8. The average Alaskan is NOT going to GO with the Name Begich…. so many questions…Why did Bill Walker get away with colluding with Xi and taking billions of our pfd $? Why is Coghill up there at all ? He was the biggest thief in Juneau. Revak is a RINO. ACTIONS speak louder than words. What to do? Can’t vote for the baby killers, the liars and the thieves. Wish this were simple. Don’t be fooled — the nasty nine assembly in anchortown are connected with Juneau thievery, you can bet your Sorels !!!!

  9. Sarah Palin’s PAC spent $3.1M in 2014. Only 7% actually went to candidates
    As an unelected citizen, accountable to no constituents, Palin owes the public no explanation for how she raises and spends her money. It’s all perfectly legal

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