What will Mayor Sullivan decide this week?



Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan might be thinking at this moment: “Which Door to Destiny do I walk through?”

Dan Sullivan, former mayor of Anchorage.

On June 1, the popular mayor filed for U.S. Senate to take on our sitting Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Since then, he has been encouraged by polling numbers showing he is clearly within striking distance for the Aug. 16 primary. There’s the “money hill” to climb, but it is not as insurmountable as one might think. Word is, promises have been made.

And yet, the Alaska’s governor’s race heats up next summer — not much more than a year from now. Republicans need a candidate they can count on. And the state clearly needs a leader who can be an alternative to Indie-Democrat Gov. Bill Walker and presumed Democratic runner Mark Begich. He’s been approached by Alaskans who want to explore that route.

Mayor Dan once inherited a city budget that had been picked to the bone by Begich, his predecessor. It was $17 million in the red when Dan took over on July 1, 2009 and said he would have to put the city on a strict fiscal diet. He did.

When he left office six years later, he had cut $100 million in spending and bequeathed a surplus. His parting words for the next mayor were: “Don’t screw it up.”

Ethan Berkowitz did not listen. He’s adding and padding at a time when homeowners can least afford to pay for excesses of his too-big-to-fail doctrine.

Berkowitz and Beltrami
Mayor Berkowitz and Union Bossman Vince Beltrami

Gov. Bill Walker inherited a falling-knife economy and said he’d cut the budget by 16 percent.

Bill Walker did not cut 16 percent, as we know. Instead, he plotted and planned with Democrats and turned to the revenue side of the equation. His Democrat supporters want more taxes on everything. The ones who brought him to the dance do not want to cut state spending.

Mayor Dan, unlike Berkowitz, Begich and Walker, has a record of cutting wasteful spending. He has admirers and supporters for how he made Anchorage whole again through tough cuts and plain-spoken explanations. He’d make a heck of a governor.

Dan Sullivan has been quiet since announcing his run. The thinking from observers is he has been doing his homework. By now, he’s pulled together all the data points he needs to choose his path forward.

With just two weeks left in the FEC’s reporting calendar, it’s probably decision week.