Sen. Sullivan files for reelection - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, October 18, 2021
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Sen. Sullivan files for reelection

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U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan quietly filed for reelection this week, without fanfare. His registration with the Alaska Division of Elections came Thursday, while he was in Washington, D.C. The deadline for candidates is June 1, but at this point he faces no Republican opponent in what looks like will be a sleepy Aug. 18 primary.

Many voters may have presumed he would run for reelection, and he has a campaign headquarters set up close to the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, but he had not yet made it official with the Division of Elections.

Sullivan has served for six years as a U.S. senator, after replacing former Sen. Mark Begich in 2014 by a slim margin, 48-46 percent, just 6,014 votes. This is his first reelection season.

Sullivan is being challenged by Al Gross, who is registered as undeclared and calls himself an independent, but who is running in the Democrats’ primary, with the Democrats’ endorsement, and who openly communicates that he seeks to “flip the state blue,” and “ditch Mitch” McConnell. The mainstream media has not asked him which party he will caucus with, but he has made it clear in his campaign materials that he is with the Democrats.

It appears that Sullivan is not focused on campaigning as much as his opponent is. Gross is running an aggressive campaign around the state, attempting to connect with thought leaders, and raising funds using the Democrats’ Act Blue software, while Sullivan is still focused on the national and state crisis that has developed this year, in what should be a year of campaigning.

Al Gross’ campaign presents the candidate as an independent as he attempts to connect with voters by text.

While Gross crisscrosses the state, Sullivan holds a comfortable advantage in his approval rating with voters, with an 12-point advantage among independent voters, and strong approval among conservatives. The polling site fivethirtyeight.org gives Sullivan a 15-point advantage and calls his seat safe for his reelection.

Sullivan serves on several committees that impact Alaska:

  • Committee on Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Airland
    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
  • Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
    • Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness
    • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
  • Committee on Environment and Public Works
    • Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight
  • Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I heard Al Gross on a local radio station, he was possibly the most ignorant and ill-informed person I have ever heard running for political office. He was unaware that in America we have birthright citizenship, he literally thought that people born here were illegal immigrants and that the people he thought were illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship. The host pointed out numerous times that the 14th Amendment, which enshrines birthright citizenship, has been the law since the 1800’s. There were numerous other example, one was that Al Gross is against building the border wall and he was misapplying Ronald Reagan famous “tear down this wall” quote. It had to be pointed out that Reagan was talking about tearing down a wall that kept people in, whereas the wall Al wants to tear down keeps people out. There were a few more examples that I can’t recall right now, but it was an embarrassing display by someone running for US Senate.

    • (Smiling) Thanks for listening to KSRM’s Sound Off!

      • Duane,

        I only caught part of the interview, did you record it anywhere? I’m not sure how you were able to get through it without laughing him off the air.

  • Sullivan is a sellout

  • I personally dismantled part of the “wall” Reagan was speaking of and I think it should be noted that keeping people out is the same as keeping people in, depending on what side of the wall you wake up on.

    • In and out are diametrically opposed. Being locked in and being locked out…completely opposite. Jail is being locked in, not many people try and break in to jail, many try to break out. Some people try to break in to banks, not many try and break out. The key is required on the outside of a locked door to keep people out, not to keep them in. Keeping people in is the exact opposite of keeping people out, no matter what side of the wall you wake up on.

  • Time to make a clean sweep and this includes Danny Boy.

  • He has my vote. I believe he has done a solid job for Alaska in some trying times.

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