Anchorage Daily News: “Let Alaskans decide in three-way governor’s race”

 In News

There has been much consternation and gnashing of teeth since the candidates for governor of Alaska have become clear. Several have suggested Mark Begich will be playing the role of spoiler and assuredly hand the governorship over to Mike Dunleavy, denying Gov. Bill Walker a second term.

In my view, the worst possible scenario is cutting a backroom deal that denies opportunities and options to Alaskans. If Gov. Walker stuck to his word of running in the open primary on Aug. 21, we would not have a three-way race in November. If Gov. Walker wishes to excuse himself from the race due to his shortsightedness in slashing Alaskans’ permanent fund dividends and thus implementing a tax on poor people, he should do so of his own accord.

All candidates should share their vision of Alaska and let Alaskans decide. In 2010, many in labor and throughout Alaska were extremely worried Joe Miller had a lock on a U.S. Senate seat. Public school employees, firefighters and police officers, among others, banded together for the best candidate in the race, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Many labor leaders and others told us winning a write-in campaign was impossible and we were throwing our support and resources away. The rest, as they say, is history. Sen. Murkowski won the three-way race via a write-in with 39 percent of the vote to Joe Miller’s 35 percent and Scott McAdams’ 23 percent.

Early polls show Mr. Dunleavy in the lead with Mr. Begich and Gov. Walker battling for second. The facts are Mr. Begich has not yet begun to campaign in earnest, while Gov. Walker and Mr. Dunleavy have been at it for over a year. I’m impressed with Mr. Begich already!

I support the best person in this race, Mark Begich. He has the executive experience of running Alaska’s largest city for six years and the national experience of serving in the U.S. Senate for six years. He is a lifelong Alaskan with the energy and most importantly the vision to move Alaska forward.

Bill Walker and Mike Dunleavy are both good people who care about Alaska, but they simply do not have the experience and wisdom we need now. Gov. Walker has served almost four years and has made some bad decisions. Mike Dunleavy quit the Alaska Senate instead of staying in and battling the governor on the issues.

I love Alaska and want to see our state back on track. Watching the devastation to our education system, seeing Alaska’s economy continue to falter and watching friends flee the state are just a few of the things I can’t live with any longer.

I support Mark Begich for governor for a better Alaska and a better tomorrow. Join me, fellow Alaskans, in voting for the best person for this big job — Mark Begich.

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