Hundreds of Anchorage people turned out for a rally for Dave Bronson for mayor on Sunday afternoon at McKenna Bros. shop in south Anchorage.
Attendees said they have not seen a campaign event that well-attended since Sarah Palin got the nomination for Vice President in 2008. There were at least 450 people attending.
During the rally, Sen. Dan Sullivan gave Bronson a full-throated endorsement, to the loud cheering of the crowd that gathered in the cavernous shop, where usually commercial-sized trucks are being worked on.
Sullivan told the crowd that in cities that have been overrun by “woke” politics, people are moving away. They are leaving the hard-left ‘woke’ areas of the country.
“Those people are moving with their feet,” Sullivan said.
“If you are a city and a community that is run well, that has a beautiful lifestyle like we have here, that believes in small businesses, and police, and law enforcement, and integrity of elections, then your citizens and your kids will stay. And people will come here. And I think Anchorage is prime for that kind of momentum,” Sullivan said.
He said that Anchorage, his and Julie Fate Sullivan’s hometown for the past 20 years, has over the past six years become almost unrecognizable because of the choices made by its leaders.
Also announcing his endorsement was former Mayor Rick Mystrom, two told the crowd that Bronson was the candidate to open the city back up. KWHL radio talk show host Bob Lester, a moderate, was the emcee who revved up the crowd with a pro-America message.
Bronson took the mic and thanked people for attending, introduced his wife Deb, and said he would be a strong supporter of law enforcement, that he’d work to rebate taxes that businesses had to pay, even while they were forced to be shut down by former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. He said the small number of homeless vagrants causing Anchorage streets to be unsafe would be addressed through law enforcement and treatment, where appropriate. He reminded people that the choice is clear: Bronson is normal, while Forrest Dunbar is a radical leftist who will turn Anchorage into another San Francisco.
Those attending were primarily hard-working Alaskans in the various construction, and trucking trades, but also spotted were former Assemblyman Bill Starr, former Assemblyman Larry Baker, former Mayor Dan Sullivan, and Mike Robbins, who ran for mayor and lost on April 6, but who was present for the entire evening.
But by and large, the crowd was made up of blue-collar workers and their companies, including snow removal, dirt hauling, paving, garbage, septic pumping, towing, car washes, and mechanics. This is the group of people who keep Anchorage going, and is the group that will have to leave if there is no city left to build.
It’s also a crowd that was never going to muster for the opponent Forrest Dunbar.
“The stripes and badges and bruises that this crowd has? Forrest could never get these people. These are not the union bosses and the lawyers. This is the hard hat and hammer crowd,” said Bernadette Wilson, who attended the event.
The mayoral runoff is ongoing until May 11, with ballots still arriving in mailboxes across Anchorage.