Battle for Valley House seat heats up as union group launches radio campaign

A union-backed group is coming to the defense of Palmer Republican Rep. Jim Colver, who's been marked for defeat by the state GOP.

Working Families of Alaska, led by officials with Anchorage-based Laborers Local 341, is spending about $3,700 on a campaign of radio ads in support of Colver, according to a report filed last week with state campaign finance regulators.

The local's business manager, Joey Merrick, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.

Colver, a former Mat-Su Borough Assembly member in his first two-year term, is a member of a moderate faction of House Republicans that calls itself the Musk Ox Coalition.

Colver's votes this year have drawn attacks from some Republicans in his district, and the state Republican party has endorsed his GOP primary challenger, George Rauscher. Rauscher held an Anchorage fundraiser last month at the offices of a construction firm, which was accompanied by emailed requests for donations by the party's chairman, Tuckerman Babcock.

Nathaniel Herz

Anchorage-based independent journalist Nathaniel Herz has been a reporter in Alaska for nearly a decade, with stints at the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Media. Read his newsletter, Northern Journal, at natherz.substack.com