Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and Republican challenger Dan Sullivan met Wednesday evening for their penultimate debate before Election Day, in a half-full theater at Bartlett High School in East Anchorage.

At the debate, hosted and broadcast by television station KTUU, the two candidates rehashed some familiar clashes -- on federal overreach, and veterans’ affairs -- but broke some new ground, too.

Here are a few of the more interesting exchanges.


The moderator, KTUU’s Steve MacDonald, asked if Congress should bring back earmarks -- the sums of federal money granted for projects favored by individual legislators, which were banned in 2010...

Nathaniel Herz

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is bringing a pair of high-profile GOP politicians to Alaska for the final stretch of the campaign.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate and a former Massachusetts governor, will hold a rally with Sullivan and Gov. Sean Parnell in Anchorage on Monday, the day before the election.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, will join Sullivan on Saturday and Sunday for get-out-the-vote rallies in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su, and on the Kenai Peninsula.

The visits were first reported by The Washington Post late Tuesday...

Nathaniel Herz

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, do not get along, and each has subjected the other to months of negative advertising.

But the relationship between Begich and the Libertarian candidate in the Senate race, Mark Fish, is considerably warmer, with Begich fighting to make sure Fish is included in debates, then tossing him softball questions that highlight their shared views on domestic spying.

Recently, Begich’s campaign has even run radio commercials touting Fish’s candidacy alongside his own -- meaning that since Fish hasn’t spent any money to advertise his own campaign, Begich has now spent more money promoting Fish than Fish has himself...

Nathaniel Herz

The last set of campaign finance filings before Election Day on Nov. 4 shows incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich with a cash advantage over his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan.

After raising $510,000 in the first two weeks of October, Begich had $720,000 left in the bank on Oct. 15, according to his campaign’s filing with the Federal Election Commission. Sullivan reported raising $500,000 in the same period, and $450,000 left in the bank...

Nathaniel Herz

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, a former state attorney general and natural resources commissioner, said he was never approached by Gov. Sean Parnell or anyone else about the problems in the Alaska National Guard that have erupted into a scandal in recent months...

Nathaniel Herz

A new third-party Republican group opposing the election of independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker is planning heavy spending for the last 10 days of the race.

The group is spending $150,000 on advertisements on a single TV station , KTVA. Figures for other stations were not immediately available, but a spokeswoman for Walker said their campaign was expecting a far larger investment, based on its review of disclosure forms filed with TV stations...

Nathaniel Herz

A string of recent polls through this week had shown all good news for Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger for the U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Democrat Mark Begich.

That changed Friday, with a poll released by Begich’s Democratic allies in the morning showing the race in a dead heat -- and a second survey released by a Republican pollster in the afternoon showing Begich leading Sullivan 49 percent to 39 percent.

The second poll was conducted by a firm owned by Anchorage Republican pollster and consultant Marc Hellenthal, who was hired by several individuals including lobbyist Sam Kito Jr...

Nathaniel Herz

The U.S. Senate race in Alaska turned into a battle Friday over the candidates’ views on the issues facing Alaska Natives and rural residents, as Republican challenger Dan Sullivan sought to show the audience at the Alaska Federation of Natives’ annual convention that his record on those issues could match that of incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

Begich has aggressively courted the Alaska Native and rural vote this year, and at a forum Friday in downtown Anchorage, his message was embraced by a sympathetic, sign-waving crowd filling an auditorium at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. Sullivan struggled to square Alaska Native interests with some of the positions he’s taken on the campaign trail and as the state’s attorney general several years ago...

Nathaniel Herz

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and Republican opponent Dan Sullivan took their typical campaign themes to a new venue on Thursday, as the two squared off at a natural resources-focused debate sponsored by groups representing the mining, timber and oil industries, among others.

After Sullivan faced a tough audience at an Oct. 1 debate on Alaska fisheries, he found a much more receptive crowd at Thursday’s event. He and the debate’s moderator put Begich on defense in an Anchorage hotel ballroom, where equipment salesmen hawked $2 million pieces of logging machinery from booths on the other side of the room...

Nathaniel Herz

A national tea party group on Wednesday endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, with tea party favorite Joe Miller appearing in a new radio commercial on Sullivan's behalf.

In a press release, Tea Party Express executive director Taylor Budowich was quoted as saying that Sullivan has "made a career out of fighting for Alaska."

The release also includes supportive comments from local talk radio host Eddie Burke.

In the commercial , Miller -- whose campaign committee was recently paid $35,000 for sign materials by Sullivan's campaign -- attacks Sullivan's opponent, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, on issues like health care and energy...

Nathaniel Herz