Sen. Sullivan has his first challenger: a Bernie supporter



Wildfire technician and Democrat-turned-Undeclared candidate David Paul Matheny has filed for U.S. Senate for Alaska, the first to challenge Sen. Dan Sullivan in his first bid for reelection.

Sullivan was elected in 2014, winning the seat from former Sen. Mark Begich.

In fundraising for the next election cycle, Sullivan has made the top 20 senators in terms of his campaign treasury, with over $2.7 million raised.

For comparison, Sen. Thom Tillis, (R-NC) who is at Number 11, has raised $4.6 million, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has raised $7.9 million, putting him at the Number 2 spot behind New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker.

The entire list of U.S> Senate candidates and their current campaign war chests can be viewed here.

Matheny has raised no money, but then he just registered with the Federal Elections Commission on April 30. He lists his address in Fairbanks and lists his party as “Independent.”  While there is no “Independent” party in Alaska, he is registered as an “Undeclared” voter. His Senate committee is called Alaskans to Elect Dave Matheny.

Dave Matheny

Matheny is employed by the State Department of Natural Resources as a Wildland Fire and Resource Technician III out of Delta Junction. He lists himself as a union chapter president for ASEA. In 2016 he was a activist and volunteer for Bernie Sanders for president, caucused for Sanders as a Democrat, and went to Philadelphia to protest the Democratic National Convention choice of Hillary Clinton.

The General Election is Nov. 3, 2020.


  1. If Matheny supported Bernie, he identifies as a socialist. More socialism for Alaska? One great quote by Winston Churchill, on socialism, bears repeating.

    Winston Churchill: “Socialism is the Philosophy of failure, The Creed of ignorance, and the Gospel of envy. It’s inherent Virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

    That pretty much says it all about socialism. Does anyone really think that’s a promising future for Alaska?

      • John,
        Why would you disparage a War Hero by saying he was a criminal? Because he led his country in a solo effort (until the US intervened) against Nazism? Either you are uneducated in “recent” history, or you are one of “them”.

      • Your comment bears out, “the creed of IGNORANCE.” If you think Churchill was a war criminal, then what else do you believe? Hitler was a hero?

    • The other quote from a British PM I like is Thatcher’s: “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money.”

  2. Competition is good for Society and good for the “entrenched” GOP as well.
    I also tried to register as an “Independent”, but the state government gave me a NP card….
    Seems like the government likes the red on blue fight instead of Independent legislators without ties to the oil and gas industry or commercial fishing lobbyists.
    Of which Dan is tied to both industries with his brother’s fish business in Ohio that buys a huge amount of Alaskan seafood and “big oil” that pushed Dan to lobby for SB 21 with Parnell to give more tax breaks to multinational global conglomerates while hurting Alaska’s budget.
    Ask yourself who gave Dan $2.7 million for his campaign?
    Koch Industries?
    Citizens United politicians are destroying the ability for average citizens to rise up to elected positions across America.
    Good luck Matheny…
    My advice is to start a “get out the vote” campaign with disenfranchised people in the rural communities across the state.
    With over 300 thousand Alaskans registered as undeclared or nonpartisan, independent minds in the “Center” are the majority of voters in Alaska.

    • Just because a person is registered as undeclared or nonpartisan does not mean they are in the center of the political spectrum. You for example align politically with the far left but you are registered as nonpartisan. The nonpartisans in this state lean left and the undeclared lean right, while some in each group may be political centrists to say that two distinct and separate groups of registered voters make up a block of centrists voters isn’t correct at all.

      In fact undeclared voters have the largest number of registered voters followed by Republicans, then nonpartisan, then Democrats, then the Alaskan Independence Party, and a handful of other minor parties round out the list.

      • Interesting. Makes sense. As usual, the Leftists seek to deceive with the camouflage of nonpartisan. The Right is honest by declaring that they don’t want you to know.

      • Steve O.
        You keep saying:
        “The nonpartisans in this state lean left and the undeclared lean right”…
        This is simply NOT true.
        Matheny is “undeclared” and folks are calling him a socialist?
        I am NP and I have voted for several Republicans in the last decade.
        My partner is registered as “undeclared” and she does not “lean right” like you say.
        Alyse Gavin ran as an Independent against Don Young and she was registered as “undeclared” as well.
        This is the new center of the road in Alaska’s political landscape.
        I was forced to move more towards the center when the Republican party shifted to the right….after Sarah Palin and “tea party” folks took control of the party (along with the Citizens United case that pumped millions to each candidate)…many Republicans across America switched to Independent or undeclared after this.
        Remember that Sarah implemented a fair tax schedule for oil companies and even spoke of the Environment.
        Our budget was balanced and PFD’s were paid on schedule.
        Overall compared to the rest of the National Population, I feel that I am a “Centrist” although in AK this is hard to accomplish since all everyone can debate are the left and the right.
        Some of us in the private sector without government jobs do not belong to unions and therefore see no benefit to joining a “party”.
        It is funny that “anti intervention” in foreign countries is at the top of the Libertarian party and you do not believe in it.
        Ironically, this is what pushed me away from the Republican party and more towards the center in my beliefs. (Since constant war is skyrocketing our National deficit…not to mention all the civilian casualties in the middle east over the last 20 years)
        I wonder how you feel on the “war on drugs” across America since this is also a top priority for the Libertarian party to stop treating addicts like criminals and focusing more on their disease and mental health than prosecution and incarceration…Libertarians do not feel we should incarcerate “victimless crimes”.
        How do you feel on mass incarceration across America?
        Either way I think you are less Libertarian than you think.
        “Are libertarians conservative or liberal? Libertarians are not “left” or “right” or a combination of the two. Libertarians believe that on every issue you have the right to decide for yourself what’s best for you and to act on that belief, so long as you simply respect the right of other people to do the same.”
        Maybe you should follow your own party’s advice and let me “decide for myself” what to believe as long as I respect others rights as well.
        My choice is as an Independent not someone on the left or right.

        • Steve Stine, straight-up question: did you vote for Lisa Murkowski in her past three election cycles?

        • Steve,

          You obviously have not been following politics for any amount of time. As a group nonpartisans in this state lean left and undeclared lean right, this is demonstrably true. That’s just the way it is…not because what I say but by the way these groups vote, in election after election. Do some who are registered vote opposite of the general group, without a doubt but as a whole the simple fact of the matter is nonpartisans in this state lean left and undeclared lean right. I know you don’t like dealing with the truth but it is what it is.

          I’ve already explained my positions to you on all of the issues you’ve mentioned, you still do not understand anything that I have said to you. You continue to say that I am an interventionist and yet you have absolutely nothing to back up your claim. You simply ignore the truth to spread your unfounded accusations.

          Where did I even say you cannot decide for yourself, where did I say you don’t have a right to decide what is best for you? For some reason you think that being a libertarian means I can’t have an opinion or share it with others, you are wrong. You fail to grasp libertarian beliefs, even after I have offered to help you understand simple concepts. Your google machine must be broken…try another search engine. If you want to know what libertarians believe go to some of the links I’ve provided you in the past, you need to stop clicking the first link you come upon and deciding that as long as the internets says it and you agree that it must be true.

          You can choose to call yourself independent or nonpartisan or whatever you want, it doesn’t make it so, but have fun with that. Your words define your beliefs and your beliefs align you with the extreme left, not the center and not even a little left of center but the extreme left. It’s kind of strange how it is only those on the extreme left who want to identify as something they are not.

          • Steve O…
            You refuse to answer any of my questions.
            Your comments on this site and others reflect your right wing conservative mantra and not modern Libertarian party beliefs.
            I guess you also may call yourself whatever you wish as “Libertarian” is a smoke screen (or camouflage) in AK even though only a few Libertarians really follow the party’s suggestions like “anti intervention” in foreign regimes or ending the prohibition on drugs in America…or closing military bases to save money.
            Just so you know supporting draconian laws that increase prison sentences on “victimless crimes” like drug dealing is not very Libertarian in any way.
            The Irony is that I support more Libertarian ideas than you do…funny how that puts me on the far left in your shallow mind?

          • Steve,

            I’ve already answered your questions and explained my views to you many times and they are on full display, you’ve read them. Which ones do you think are not libertarian views, please feel free to quote what I’ve said that you think disqualifies me from holding libertarian views. The fact that you do not understand libertarian views (or any views beside your own leftist viewpoint) is the problem you are having with this entire conversation.

    • Steve,
      You’re tirade against Sen. Sullivan shows you are just another one-sided political hack willing to point fingers at one party but conveniently overlook the fact that the other party is just as guilty and uses the same exact tactics you’re accusing Sen. Sullivan and “Big Oil” of using. A true Independent not only doesn’t like politics but is also willing to point out ALL hypocrisy, not one side.
      Citizens United certainly doesn’t “only” help oil and gas industries. Are you also angry that Michigan Democrats, who receive big lobbyist dollars from GE, Tesla, and other electronic car companies, currently working in Congress to renew the tax credits those billionaire companies receive for selling EVs even though over 80% of EC purchases earn over $100,000? How about all the tax breaks for solar and wind companies and the politicians who receive huge lobbyist bucks, even at the expense of raised energy prices throughout North England? How about the tax breaks throughout Alaska for Starbucks, WalMart, Walgreens, and every other large corporate business that have hurt both local and state budgets? Are they paying their Alaska corporate taxes? It certainly wasn’t only Parnell or Sullivan but ALL been done by bipartisan lawmakers at very level in this state.
      Personally, I think Congress’s tax code loopholes for corporates and rich people since the IRS was started is by far worse than the Citizen United court case. True tax reform to close those loopholes so companies like Amazon and individual million and billionaires to actually pay fair taxes. Amazon paid $0 taxes in 2018, (it wasn’t due to the Republican tax cuts but all those loopholes like tax credits, subsidies, exemptions, etc) and yet just received more billions of taxpayer contracts with the Department of Defense. Corporate, Congress, and Cronyism at its best, and it’s a bipartisan problem.
      In regards to Matheny, as a Libertarian, I wouldn’t vote for him if my life depended on it. Bernie and AOC certainly love the idea of increasing taxes on the wealthy, but here’s some facts provided to you from John Stossel. Here’s the reforms they need to be focusing on, not raising taxes. It’s only 5:18 minutes and dated March 2019 showing how the rich have been avoiding their “fair taxes” since the IRS was formed:

      • S. Evans,
        I am afraid you are also not aware of the party “Libertarian” that you claim to belong to?
        You said:
        “Personally, I think Congress’s tax code loopholes for corporates and rich people since the IRS was started is by far worse than the Citizen United court case.”
        It is fine for you to support more corporate taxes but this is NOT how the majority of Libertarians feel.
        Remember that the Koch brothers who are also Libertarians were key in the Citizens United case and also do not want to pay taxes on their multi billion dollar corporate profits.
        The Libertarian party’s website says:
        “End the federal corporate income tax; cut wasteful and unneeded government spending.”
        This goes against your belief and most of your reply.
        What Libertarians do offer to balance the budget are these items that are not very popular to either Dems or Republicans in America.
        “End the failed Drug Prohibition.
        End programs that supply military-grade equipment to local law enforcement.
        Abolish the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
        Abolish the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
        Repeal the Patriot Act, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and any other law that violates Americans’ privacy or constitutional rights.
        Close overseas U.S. military bases and bring troops home.
        Close half of all domestic U.S. military bases and cut spending.
        Cancel contracts for fighter planes, ships, and other unneeded military equipment.”

    • Steve, I could barely get through your comment because two things immediately jumped out at me: 1) Competition. I agree with the concept, but clearly, this person is not a competitor to Sen. Sullivan. 2) As being born and raised in rural Alaska, I am SICK AND TIRED and boy do I mean it, of the word disenfranchised. Please stop it. I have never been disenfranchised. Are rural Alaskans stupid? I think it has become some word that has been injected into a liberal narrative and beat upon the public to think we don’t know how to vote? Or is it we don’t know “who” to vote for??? Hmmmm…..

      • Garnet,
        I appreciate your comment, but I believe you are confused on the definition of “disenfranchised”.
        It means “deprive (someone) of a right or privilege.”
        As 98 percent of the fish in AK go to commercial interests and rural areas like the Mat Su Valley face salmon closure after closure for the last 5 years…yes, we are deprived of a right and privilege.
        Another example is our PFD falling to the state government budget abyss of pensions and pet projects year after year.
        (Remember Walker’s Chinese pipeline)
        Again I feel we are deprived of a right and privilege as Alaskans.
        Read our Constitution…there is supposed to be an equal allocation of resources yet corporate greed has taken the profit out of state in many industries.
        There are many issues currently facing Alaskans and rural economies are hurting across the state.
        I do not mean anything against rural communities as I live in one myself, but I feel an Independent candidate can connect with voters who may have not been voting because they feel “disenfranchised”.
        And when only 20 percent of the population turns out to vote, obviously many feel none of the candidates support their voices.
        Go after the 80 percent who are not voting and you see how you can win an election.
        This is my point.

        • Steve, good discussion here. I like that about you. A lot more than this forum can allow in time and space. Your comment was this: “My advice is to start a “get out the vote” campaign with disenfranchised people in the rural communities across the state”, which took my mind directly down the path of the folks with the clip boards that sweep the small towns and villages with those “get out the vote campaigns”. You may or may not know the ones, but I sure do. Pre-packaged narratives with “stats” and slanted ideas, “facts” and “figures”, false promises, (I’m not saying right or left here), that may interest a person into voting one way or another or registering for one party or another. I know, it happens all the time and it is what it is and all parties what to grow their base, right? And, I am sick of that word disenfranchised. It is just one of those overused words. Anyway, I appreciate your comments.

    • Pepe,
      Murkowski is not a true republican. She is a “rino” at it’s worst. A dim, in disguise. She has been chosen as the most “liberal” republican in the senate. She manages to come up with the most inane reasons for her lib voting record. I objected, in Juneau, when her “daddy” appointed her. “Big Frank”, her father, told me to “mind my own business”, when I suggested, with his seniority, he stay in the senate, where he could do the most good for Alaska. True story. Now, Alaska has reaped the consequences of her “representation”.

      • And she can’t be beaten from a challenge from the right, because she’ll run as a write-in in the general again and the Democrats will vote to keep her over the Republican who won over the primary.

        But her repeated betrayals of Republicans make her vulnerable from the Left, because Republicans don’t show up to vote for her in the general.

  3. Ben Colder: interesting comments by Frank Murkowski to you, “mind your own business.” Nepotism IS your business. Frank went around AK promising various people an “appointment” to the US Senate by himself when he became governor, most notably, Johne Binkley. But then, Frank appointed his daughter Lisa, “so he could make history” and make the Murkowskis rich. Frank is irrelevant in politics today and Lisa is a complete nutcase as a Republican. Thanks for foisting her on us, Frank. The rotten apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

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