Rumors about which Democrat would run against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski have been whispered throughout the state for months, but now it appears the Dems have found their challenger. Mayor Scott McAdams of Sitka is planning to run for the seat currently occupied by Murkowski, according to the Alaska Democratic Party.
The party is happy to have a candidate who is young, smart, and from rural Alaska, according to Dave Metheny, the state organizer for the Alaska Democratic Party.
"He's taking on a part of the dynasty, but I have a real good feeling that even if McAdams doesn't win this one, he'll win the next one," Metheny said.
Reached on his cell phone, McAdams politely declined to comment on the race or confirm his candidacy, but said there would be an announcement June 1.
Murkowski is viewed as an exceptionally tough candidate. Ralph Samuels, who is running for governor, recently said that no one is "going to want to go into a buzz saw against Lisa."
State Rep. Les Gara, an Anchorage Democrat, said he thinks McAdams is bright, accomplished, and experienced. McAdams never came down to Juneau to argue for his business or something that would benefit him personally, according to Gara; it's always been about educating kids or a advocating for a community issue he doesn't have a stake in.
"It's sort of refreshing," Gara said.
Metheny said McAdams, who has commercial fished, is someone who has lived closer to what people outside of Anchorage have experienced.
"There's no political dynasty (in McAdams' family)," Metheny said. "This is somebody that's really done it on their own."
Contact Joshua Saul at jsaul(at)alaskadispatch.com.