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Alaska Legislature

Former state Sen. Huggins drops out of GOP primary for Alaska governor

Charlie Huggins speaks at a 2014 news conference at the Capitol. (Richard Mauer / ADN)

JUNEAU — Charlie Huggins, the former Alaska Senate president from Wasilla, said late Wednesday he’s withdrawing from the Republican Party primary for governor.

Huggins announced his decision in a Facebook post. He said when he began his campaign that he saw a "clear path to victory" but now faces what could be the most expensive race in state history.

The announcement comes a month after another Wasilla Republican, former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy, announced he was reviving his campaign after suspending it to resolve a heart problem.

The two social and fiscal conservatives would have been seeking support from the same slice of GOP primary voters, said Lynn Gattis, a Republican former representative from Wasilla who's running for lieutenant governor.

"I think they both understand that when they're both in the race, they both split those votes — and somebody not as conservative as either of them can potentially win," she said.

Other announced Republican primary candidates include former Alaska House Speaker Mike Chenault of Nikiski, who still serves in the House; businessman Scott Hawkins of Anchorage; and Mike Sheldon of Petersburg. Gov. Bill Walker, a Republican-turned-independent elected in 2014 with support from the Alaska Democratic Party, is also running for re-election.

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