Saturday, September 30, 2023
HomePoliticsWhere people know Mike, they like Mike Dunleavy

Where people know Mike, they like Mike Dunleavy


As a rural educator from the Arctic, and former state senator from Wasilla taking on a sitting governor and a former U.S. senator, Mike Dunleavy started out with lower name recognition than the other two candidates.

- Advertisement -

But where people know him in Alaska, they like him — and they vote for him.

In the village of Koyuk, population 332, most of the voters who picked the Republican ballot (Republicans, undeclared, and nonpartisan voters are able to do so), voted for Dunleavy.

It was 47 votes for Dunleavy, 2 votes for his opponent Mead Treadwell. He’s definitely got the Koyuk vote.

Dunleavy spent three years as a teacher in the largely Inupiaq village located on the northern bank of the Koyuk River as it flows into Norton Bay.

Koyuk, Alaska. Photo:

From Koyuk, Dunleavy went to Fairbanks and studied school administration and cross-cultural education at University of Alaska Fairbanks, before moving to Kotzebue to become a school principal and eventually a superintendent.

Of course, many in Koyuk lean Democrat, but Mark Begich, the state’s leading Democrat, only received 18 votes for governor. Bill Walker avoided the primary altogether because he felt he couldn’t compete against Begich.

Dunleavy did as well as Rep. Don Young when it came to overall number of votes in the primary in Koyuk. Young was the top vote getter across the state, but in Koyuk, they matched: Young received 48 votes.

In the District 40’s hub community of Kotzebue, Dunleavy swept 107 votes to Treadwell’s 24.

On the Democrat ballot in Kotzebue, which is one of Alaska’s Democrat strongholds, Begich did well with 145 votes.


Mark Begich, in his home precinct of East Anchorage, received 173 votes; he was unopposed on the Democrat ballot.
But Dunleavy handily won the overall votes in that precinct, where Begich grew up. Dunleavy took 228 of the 330 votes for governor on the Republican ballot, for a 69 percent advantage over Mead Treadwell, and 53 more votes than Begich received.
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. How much does the person matter and how important are the politics? I lived in Kotzebue when Mike was superintendent of schools and he is a great guy, one who engenders respect. His politics? Well, not as crazy as Joe Miller’s. Joe is also a nice person. Dunleavy’s hostility toward public schools is disturbing, particularly since he understands better than most what vouchers would do to Bush schools. Being married to the daughter of the great Aqqaluk makes it even more puzzling. Who am I going to vote for? No clue. I like all three.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular