Alaska’s Primary Election Will Determine Republican Senate Challenger, Oil Taxes

by Ben Matheson on August 18, 2014

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Alaska voters Tuesday will select a Republican challenger to first term US Senator Mark Begich in the primary election. Dan Sullivan, Mead Treadwell, and Joe Miller are competing to earn the Republican nomination in what will be financially be a record-setting election.

Governor Sean Parnell is seeking his second full term and facing little opposition within the Republican Party. On the Democratic side, Byron Mallot has the party support and limited opposition. Independent Bill Walker is not on the primary ballot but will appear on the November ballot.

In the Lieutenant Governors race, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is facing no real opponent in his quest to replace Treadwell as Parnell’s running mate. But on the Democratic side, voters will choose between Anchorage State Senator Hollis French and political newcomer Bob Williams, a Mat-Su math teacher.

Republican Don Young is seeking his 22nd term in office in the U.S. House. Forrest Dunbar is seeking the Democratic nomination to take him on in November.

For state office in the Y-K Delta, Senator Lyman Hoffman and Representative Bob Herron, both Democrats are running unopposed. Neither Dillingham Democrat Bryce Edgemon, who represents some of the upper Kuskokwim nor Nome Democrat Neal Foster who represents the Lower Yukon face any challengers.

Voters will also decide whether to keep the oil tax structure the legislature passed in 2013. Opponents of the repeal, say the new flat tax makes the North slope and Alaska’s economy more competitive, while supporters of the referendum call the next tax regime a giveaway to oil companies. About 90 percent of the state government’s funding comes from oil taxes.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m Tuesday. In Bethel, the two precinct locations are at the Lower Kuskokwim School District Office and at the Cultural Center.

Tune into KYUK Tuesday evening for statewide election coverage and results.

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