Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is bringing a pair of high-profile GOP politicians to Alaska for the final stretch of the campaign.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate and a former Massachusetts governor, will hold a rally with Sullivan and Gov. Sean Parnell in Anchorage on Monday, the day before the election.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, will join Sullivan on Saturday and Sunday for get-out-the-vote rallies in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su, and on the Kenai Peninsula.
The visits were first reported by The Washington Post late Tuesday.
Ben Sparks, Sullivan's campaign manager, confirmed the trips by Romney and Cruz. He said the two politicians, who have stumped for Republican U.S. Senate candidates this year, offered to join Sullivan's campaign for its final days.
"Alaska is ground zero in the battle for the Senate majority. Everyone knows how important this race is," Sparks said in a phone interview. "Sen. Cruz and Gov. Romney reached out and said they wanted to help, and we obviously jumped at the opportunity."
Romney and Cruz offer Sullivan's campaign an opportunity to appeal to two swaths of Republicans. Cruz can help Sullivan woo voters in the party's more conservative wing, who could be tempted to support Libertarian candidate Mark Fish, while Romney appeals more to the Republicans' establishment wing.
"Early Christmas, Ted Cruz is coming to town," Lance Roberts, a conservative Republican activist from Fairbanks, posted on a Facebook group Tuesday evening.
Asked Tuesday evening about the visits from Cruz and Romney, Begich's campaign responded with an emailed statement from campaign manager Susanne Fleek-Green, attacking Sullivan for drawing Outside support throughout the campaign.
"Now, as Election Day draws closer, Dan Sullivan is forced to rely on Outside surrogates to headline his events because he wants to represent their interests, not Alaska's," Fleek-Green was quoted as saying.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing