Republican Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom outraised Republican opponent Nick Begich in Alaska’s U.S. House race, but still trailed far behind Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola in fundraising, according to recent campaign finance reports.
After announcing her candidacy for U.S. House in November, Dahlstrom — a former corrections commissioner and state lawmaker — raised more than $200,000 through the end of 2023. The vast majority of her funding came from political action committees affiliated with Republican congressional members, signifying the GOP’s support for Dahlstrom as the party’s chosen candidate to beat the Democratic incumbent.
Begich, another Republican vying for the seat held by Peltola since she won a special election in August 2022, entered the U.S. House race in July, after coming in third behind Peltola and former Gov. Sarah Palin both in the special election and in the November 2022 election.
Alaska’s Republican establishment has so far stayed on the sidelines in the U.S. House race, but earlier this week, Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy formally endorsed Dahlstrom, whom he picked as his running mate ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial election. In an endorsement shared by Dahlstrom’s campaign, Dunleavy said Dahlstrom has “conservative values” and would “stand up against federal overreach.”
Only 19 Alaskan individuals contributed to Dahlstrom’s campaign as of the end of 2023. The Alaska-based donors include lobbyist Mike Pawlowski; the governor’s daughter Maggie Dunleavy; Dahlstrom’s current chief of staff Kelly Howell; Revenue Commissioner Adam Crum; and former Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune.
Dahlstrom’s campaign finance report indicates that as of the end of last year, she had yet to begin campaigning in earnest. The campaign had spent just over $3,000 as of Dec. 31, and it reported having no paid staffers, unlike Begich and Peltola’s campaigns, which each spent thousands of dollars on payroll.
Despite the apparent lack of campaign activity, Dahlstrom has already garnered endorsements from House Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who called Dahlstrom an “America First fighter.”
Begich raised $126,004 in the last quarter of 2023, much of it from small contributions. In the same period, he spent nearly $174,000. More than $28,000 went to Winred, a platform used by Republicans to collect campaign contributions.
Begich’s campaign reported a debt of $425,000 — a carryover from personal loans Begich, a businessman, made to his campaign in 2022. By continuing to campaign, Begich could use funds raised to pay off the debt.
Under Alaska’s nonpartisan top-four primary system, both Begich and Dahlstrom — along with Peltola — are likely to advance to the November ranked-choice election.
Begich and Dahlstrom are both trying to win Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat from Peltola, taking it from the blue to the red column as part of the GOP’s quest to retain and expand control of the chamber.
But Peltola is buoyed by incumbency, and by support from national Democrats seeking to keep the seat in their column.
Peltola raised more than $1.1 million in the last quarter of 2023, much of it coming from political action committees.
In that period, Peltola’s campaign spent more than $413,000, with more than $100,000 going toward digital advertising.
Heading into 2024, Peltola had more than $1.7 million in her campaign account. Dahlstrom and Begich had around $200,000 and $180,000, respectively.