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Anchorage

U.S. Sen. Sullivan endorses Bronson and former Gov. Knowles endorses Dunbar in Anchorage mayor’s race

David Bronson and Forrest Dunbar have the most votes in the 2021 mayoral election.

Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan is endorsing Dave Bronson in the race for Anchorage mayor.

Forrest Dunbar, Bronson’s opponent, on Monday also announced the endorsement of Tony Knowles, the former governor of Alaska and former mayor of Anchorage.

Matt Shuckerow, a spokesman for the senator, confirmed Sullivan’s endorsement Monday.

A video posted to a conservative blog shows Sullivan speaking to a crowd of Bronson supporters at a campaign event over the weekend, urging the crowd to help boost voter turnout.

“The Anchorage that we love, the Anchorage that our kids grew up in ... we don’t recognize that,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan praised Bronson’s campaign slogan, “A New Direction.”

“That’s what we need,” Sullivan said.

Bronson has criticized the city’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including its mask mandate and its previous temporary capacity restrictions and shutdowns.

Knowles, a Democrat, and his wife, Susan, in a statement Monday endorsed Dunbar for mayor of Anchorage.

“Forrest has a deep commitment to public service for our community, our state, and our nation,” Knowles said in an emailed statement. “He has a record of defending our civil rights, fighting discrimination, and working to provide for our public health.”

Dunbar, an Assembly member from East Anchorage, has voted in support of the city’s pandemic precautions. He previously ran as a Democrat for a seat in the U.S. House and lost.

The two candidates for Anchorage mayor take largely opposing positions on issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and homelessness, and the race has underlined divisions among some groups of city residents.

Bronson and Dunbar will face off in the May 11 runoff.

Ballots have already been mailed out and can be returned by mail, to a secure drop box, or in person at a vote center.

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