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Photos: At home with Mike Dunleavy and his mules

Mike Dunleavy, photographed at his Wasilla, Alaska house. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy with one of his mules at his property in Wasilla. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy's daughter Catherine, 15 years old, and her sister Ceil, 13, with their family's mules in Wasilla. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy with his mules at his home in Wasilla, Alaska. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy with his mules at his home in Wasilla, Alaska. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy and his daughters riding mules at their family property in Wasilla. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy riding one of his mules at his home in Wasilla, Alaska. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy's daughter Catherine, 15 years old, with goslings and the family dog Blue. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mike Dunleavy's daughter Ciel, 13 years old, playing volleyball at the family's home in Wasilla. August 8, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes,Amanda Coyne

If effective political advertising is measured in part by the discussion it generates among constituents and pundits, then ads supporting Mike Dunleavy for Alaska Senate are by most counts a resounding success. If political ads are measured by the emotional response constituents are left with -- good feelings, admiration, trust, et cetera -- well, Dunleavy's ads aren't much good at that.

On Aug. 28, registered Republicans of Senate District D in the Mat-Su Borough will choose between two flavors of Alaska conservatism: the neo-fiscal versus the moderate. Dunleavy, of Wasilla, is campaigning on fiscal issues that fuel the tea party movement and Lower 48 Republican politics, lately imported to Alaska. He'd unseat incumbent state Sen. Linda Menard of Palmer, a member of the Senate's Bipartisan Majority Working Group. 

But the Senate District D primary is about more than just ideology. The Dunleavy-Menard contest is also an old-fashioned Valley family feud. 

Full story: In mighty Mat-Su, GOP primary a hallmark Valley feud