Jack Coghill: Mead Treadwell stands the best chance to beat Begich

Jack Coghill
OPINION: I know Mead Treadwell to be the most informed candidate in Alaska's Republican Senate primary, and he has the best chance of defeating Mark Begich. Pictured: Alaska Lt. Governor and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mead Treadwell talks to the Valley Republican Women group at the Mat-Su Family Restaurant in Wasilla. June 19, 2014. Bob Hallinen photo

During my years serving as Alaska’s lieutenant governor I enjoyed working on the issues that matter to all Alaskans. It takes a deep commitment to our great state, and the proud people in it, to earn the trust of voters. I’m glad to see our current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell shares my commitment to Alaska. Mead had the confidence of Alaskans in 2010, when his ticket won the election by a 59 percent-37 percent margin against the Democratic nominees. Mead won my confidence long before that election. I know Mead to be the most informed candidate in this Senate race -- with the best chance of defeating Mark Begich.

As the former head of the Alaska Division of Elections, I’d like to offer a different perspective on the Republican primary than what I’ve seen recently. As Aug. 19 draws closer, the mudslinging among candidates has intensified. It won't be accusations that win this election. Alaskans are tired of constant attack ads that tell us little about the candidates. Something that these advertisements should be informing Alaskans about is the facts. In the heat of primary season it’s easy to overlook past elections. The past elections are an indicator of who can win this fall.

Every election boils down to who wins the most votes. Two of the candidates in this Republican primary have already demonstrated their ability to win. In 2010, Joe Miller ran for the opportunity to represent Republicans in a Senate race. Joe loves to remind folks that his opponents voted for Lisa Murkowski in that race. What Joe leaves out is that 101,000 other Alaskans also voted for Murkowski. Joe Miller got 90,839 votes. That same year, in the primary, Mead Treadwell’s ticket earned 151,318 votes, with Mead finishing first in 39 of the 40 legislative districts. If past performance is an indicator of future success, it’s clear Alaskans support Treadwell.

Dan Sullivan claims to be the optimistic candidate who is trying to unite the GOP. For all the noise that Dan Sullivan and his campaign have made about Mead, the true differentiation between the two is their history of success on Alaska issues. Mead has won a general election. Sullivan is hoping that we buy into his "supposedly positive campaign" and that we overlook that he is unproven as a candidate, and as an Alaskan.

In 2008, Mark Begich won 151,767 votes against Ted Stevens. His win is bolstered by the fact that incumbents enjoy a higher than 90 percent reelection rate. As Republicans, we can count on Mead Treadwell to beat Mark Begich. Mead knows Alaska. When you account for demonstrated ability to get votes, Mead Treadwell has the highest positive ratings of any Senate candidate. As your former lieutenant governor, I encourage you to vote for Mead Treadwell on Aug. 19.

Jack Coghill is a former lieutenant governor of Alaska.

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