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Alex DeMarban

In a fiery debut, a young Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Don Young asked voters at a fisheries debate in Kodiak to oust the congressman from his long-held seat, saying Young has lost his clout because of a past ethical violation and is no longer effective.

Young, 81 and the longest-serving Republican in the House, held his own against Forrest Dunbar, calling him immature and naive. He said Dunbar lied and that nothing in the rules says a person can’t chair a full committee because of ethical issues.

The often heated debate, hosted by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, was the first between Young and Dunbar, 30. The two agreed on several points, including protecting the state’s fisheries against fish farming and that the state's fisheries are well-managed...

Alex DeMarban

The umbrella labor organization in Alaska has formed the equivalent of a super PAC to advocate in favor of Bill Walker's gubernatorial campaign.

The Alaska AFL-CIO recently formed “ Alaskans for Walker Mallott ,” and the group has about $160,000 in the bank, said Vince Beltrami, president of the labor organization and chair of the independent expenditure group...

Alex DeMarban

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she will not endorse a candidate in the governor’s race, saying she is focused on her job in Washington, D.C.

“I have been spending all my time thinking about the Senate and I’ll continue to do that,” she said during a meeting with staff at Alaska Dispatch News on Monday.

The gubernatorial contest pits Republican Gov. Sean Parnell and running mate Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan against attorney Bill Walker, a longtime Republican who recently dropped his affiliation with the party to run an independent campaign with Alaska Native leader and Democrat Byron Mallott...

Alex DeMarban

Before a small crowd in Anchorage on Monday, U.S. Rep. Don Young took on actor Ted Danson for his views on fisheries waste, advised state leaders to build the King Cove road and let the U.S. marshals stop them, and asked why the state funds the environmental conservation department to just be a "puppet" of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Young, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House, also addressed a major plank of his Democratic opponent, saying he doesn’t need to chair a full committee in the House to be effective...

Alex DeMarban

The lawsuit that could have ended the “unity” ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott has been dropped, with the plaintiff who brought it saying the Legislature should enact a permanent regulation to prevent future confusion.

“Voters will make the final decision Nov. 4 without further distraction,” said a statement sent by Steve Strait, an Alaska Republican Party district chair in Anchorage.

Strait brought the lawsuit challenging the emergency regulation issued by Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the Alaska Division of Elections that approved the merger of gubernatorial candidate Walker and Mallott as his running mate on a “nonparty” ticket. Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock on Friday ruled that the emergency regulation was valid...

Alex DeMarban

With a trio of ballot measures facing voters this fall, the head of a pro-business advocacy group is asking whether “nuisance” initiatives and referendums should be banned in the future, including those affecting such areas as mining or the state’s oil-production tax.

Scott Hawkins, founder of ProsperityAlaska , believes the voting public should not decide complex tax questions or other measures that increase regulations or permitting of businesses...

Alex DeMarban

An Alaska Superior Court judge Friday morning denied a complaint brought by a Republican Party official that could have unraveled the “unity” ticket of gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and his running mate, Byron Mallott.

Steve Strait, an Anchorage district chair of the Alaska Republican Party, said he will decide over the weekend whether to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

Judge John Suddock said the lieutenant governor and the Division of Elections acted appropriately when they issued an emergency regulation Sept. 2 allowing the merger of the “nonparty” ticket, though primary voters had previously chosen Mallott as the Democratic nominee for governor...

Alex DeMarban

The legal showdown between the Environmental Protection Agency and the group behind the giant Pebble mining prospect near Bristol Bay is coming to a head, with the first oral arguments in one case set for Friday morning in Anchorage and the recent filing of a second lawsuit that claims the agency illegally colluded with mine foes.

Both cases, under the purview of Alaska federal District Court Judge H. Russel Holland, were filed by Pebble Partnership, owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals...

Alex DeMarban

Forty-six candidates for state office received a “seal of approval” from a grass-roots group that has fought for more school funding and against educational vouchers, but more than 50 candidates did not respond to the group’s questionnaires, including Gov. Sean Parnell, who is running for re-election and early this year declared the 2014 legislative session the “education session.”

Great Alaska Schools, a volunteer coalition of parents and concerned citizens, played a prominent role during the most recent session, rallying many Alaskans against a measure that proposed a constitutional amendment to remove the longstanding ban on public funds being spent on private and religious schools...

Alex DeMarban

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, pulled no punches in her response to a self-described "fiscal hawk" who announced Thursday he will support her Democratic opponent.

Brad Keithley, LeDoux said, has “a reputation for bullying and taking advantage of women,” though she provided no details to back the allegation.

Keithley, an oil and gas and fiscal consultant, said he is spending $200,000 of his own money to influence state races this fall. He said he is launching an independent expenditure effort to support “candidates who make sustainable budgets a priority and oppose incumbents whose records show they won’t.”...

Alex DeMarban