After filing for statewide office, Anchorage mayor undecided on run

Kyle Hopkins

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan has filed a "letter of intent" to run for a state political office in 2014.

The move gives Sullivan, 61, the option of running for lieutenant governor or challenging incumbent Sean Parnell in the Republican primary for governor. Sullivan said in an interview Tuesday that he has not decided which job he will compete for.

He might also run for local office, for the U.S. House or Senate, or not at all, Sullivan said. "It actually depends on what other people are deciding."

As a busy election year approaches, big-name politicians in Alaska are watching to see who is competing for each job. Sullivan declined to name other potential candidates he has his eye on as he decides his own political future.

A few have already staked out their territory.

Republican attorney Bill Walker and Parnell both registered in May with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, seeking the G.O.P. nomination for governor. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat.

Assembly seats and the Anchorage mayor's job are officially non-partisan. But party affiliations loom large in local elections and Sullivan, a registered Republican, campaigned as a belt-tightening conservative. He led a rewrite of city labor laws that ignited a bitter fight with local unions before approval by the Assembly in March.

Sullivan spoke by phone from his Anchorage home Tuesday, where he said he was meeting with painters.

"There's more than one seat open," Sullivan said when asked if he planned to run for governor or lieutenant governor. Competing for a federal office is an option, he said.

Sullivan has not filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for U.S. Senate or the U.S. House seat now held by Republican Don Young. He lives in West Anchorage and could also run for the state Legislature under the letter of intent filed Thursday with APOC.

Submitting a letter of intent allows candidates to start raising money for a state campaign. Sullivan said he has not held any fund-raisers and did not plan to do so in the near future.

The son of former Anchorage Mayor George Sullivan, Dan Sullivan was elected to replace Begich as mayor in 2009. He defeated Assemblyman Paul Honeman to win re-election last year.

Sullivan's second and final term as mayor ends in mid-2015. He would leave the job months early if elected to statewide office, with the Assembly chairman likely stepping in as acting mayor.


Twitter updates: Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334 or email him at



Contact Kyle Hopkins at or on