Family ties trump politics in Fairbanks senate race

FAIRBANKS -- When it came time for Sen. Click Bishop to ask his opponent in the state Senate race a question during a Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce debate Tuesday, he said he had an excellent reason for not doing so.

"I've known Dorothy Shockley for over 40 years," the Republican said of the Democratic candidate in the Fairbanks contest.

"Her and my wife are related. I know all their family and they're like family to me. And her dad's picture sets on my mantle in my house. Family means more to me than politics, so I don't have any questions for her because I still want to come over and eat dinner."

Shockley said that she totally agrees with Bishop about the importance of family and said there are other people in her extended family with a special interest in the election, starting with her cousin, Darlene, who is married to Bishop.

Among her other cousins are Toni Mallott, the wife of lieutenant governor candidate Byron Mallott, and Julie Fate, the wife of U.S, Senate candidate Dan Sullivan.

"It's important that we do put family first," Shockley said. "At the end of the day, that's what important."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Julie Fate. This story has been updated to reflect her correct name.

Dermot Cole

Former ADN columnist Dermot Cole is a longtime reporter, editor and author.