Nathaniel Herz

The U.S. Senate race in Alaska has featured a ferocious debate over incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich’s record, with Republicans relentlessly casting him as a tool of President Barack Obama while Begich, meanwhile, runs television ads asserting his independence from Washington.

But a series of comments from Obama this month have complicated Begich’s message, and raised the profile of the Republican attacks in the final weeks before the election.

Begich’s opponents even scrambled a political operative to ambush him recently with Republicans’ favored gotcha question for Democratic Senate candidates in tight races: “Did you vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012?”...

Nathaniel Herz

A new filing from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan details the sources of the $2.5 million his campaign raised in August and September, as well as a sprinkling of interesting payments made by Sullivan’s campaign as part of the $2.4 million it spent during that period.

Sullivan’s campaign raised money from an array of high-profile donors, including maximum contributions from former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, as well as from Las Vegas casino magnate and prominent conservative donor Sheldon Adelson, and from the sons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and former presidential candidate Ross Perot...

Nathaniel Herz

In the U.S. Senate race in Alaska, one of the major-party candidates has a law degree from Georgetown and graduated from Harvard. The other didn’t graduate from college.

Guess which one is running the wonkier, more policy-focused campaign?

A review shows substantial differences between the two when it comes to their published platforms. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, who doesn’t have a college degree, has released detailed position papers on a range of issues.

His Republican challenger, former Alaska attorney general and natural resources commissioner Dan Sullivan, released a single position paper last November, saying it would be the first of many policy initiatives -- but none have emerged from his campaign since then...

Nathaniel Herz

On Thursday morning, as the sun rose above the Chugach Mountains east of Anchorage, incumbent Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich called in to a local talk radio show, kicking off yet another day full of politicking, with less than three weeks left until the election.

It was the first of two talk show appearances for Begich, a Democrat. Trailing in the polls against Republican opponent Dan Sullivan, Begich is doing everything he can to remind voters that in spite of what they see on their TVs and Facebook feeds, he is just a regular Alaska guy who takes orders from his constituents -- not from President Barack Obama or from Sen. Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who leads the party’s Senate majority...

Nathaniel Herz

Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday announced that 27 people have applied for the top position at the Alaska National Guard.

A committee appointed by Parnell is expected to select a group of finalists in the next week to forward to the governor, who will conduct personal interviews before choosing a replacement for former Adjutant General Thomas Katkus.

Katkus was fired by Parnell early last month on the same day the state released a critical report by federal investigators about the guard, which detailed a climate of sexual misconduct, fear and harassment that the guard’s leadership allowed to persist...

Nathaniel Herz

Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Begich reported raising $1.9 million in the third quarter of the year, trailing the fundraising haul claimed by his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan.

Begich’s campaign on Sunday electronically filed its most recent financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission, which showed the campaign raised $1.5 million in August and September.

Sullivan’s campaign said in a news release last week that it raised $2.8 million in the third quarter. On Wednesday, it released summary figures of its most recent filings showing the campaign raised $2.5 million in August and September...

Nathaniel Herz

With less than a month until Election Day, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has found himself caught in the treacherous currents of Alaska fish politics.

Begich’s Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, has accused Begich of acting to benefit Fishermen’s Finest , a Washington state-based fishing company connected to at least $115,000 in contributions to the primary super PAC that supports Begich, and to his re-election campaign.

The company is among a small number of fishing firms that stand to gain from proposed legislation released by Begich’s office earlier this year -- though that legislation hasn't yet been officially attached to a bill...

Nathaniel Herz

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is challenging his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, to sign a new pledge that would likely reduce the amount of outside spending in their race by penalizing the candidates if they get support from groups whose donors don’t meet certain transparency standards.

Sullivan, however, is unlikely to sign, setting himself up as a potential target for a new batch of negative TV ads...

Nathaniel Herz

With less than a month until the election, both sides of the U.S. Senate campaign in Alaska say their opponents are stretching the truth to new lengths in their ads and social media postings.

The Alaska Democratic Party is citing recent comments from Republican Dan Sullivan that contradict published news reports as proof he's a “pathological liar,” while Sullivan’s campaign distributed a press release Friday linking to an article by that blasts a claim in two Begich ads as “bogus.”...

Nathaniel Herz

One of the starkest differences between incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, is on the issue of health care.

Begich, who’s consistently pilloried for his 2009 vote for the Affordable Care Act by Sullivan and his allies, stands by his position and on Monday released a new radio ad in which he says that “every day, I work to try to fix it.”

Sullivan, meanwhile, says he’d repeal the law he calls Obamacare and replace it based on a broad five-point plan that he outlined to a reporter Wednesday...

Nathaniel Herz