Alaska’s attorney general and GOP favorite Dan Sullivan will face Democratic Sen. Mark Begich for a crucial Senate seat this fall, after defeating two Republican rivals in the primary Tuesday night.
Sullivan consistently led in the polls and far outspent his opponents. Sen. Begich is seen as vulnerable, and his allies have already spent millions running attack ads against Sullivan.
“Harry Reid tried to stop us, but his millions of dollars of attack ads didn’t work,” Sullivan said in a statement following his win. “Mark Begich, his loyal lieutenant, has spent the last ten months trying to avoid talking about his failed record. Now is the time to focus on the real issues that matter the most to Alaskans.”
With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting, Sullivan had 41 percent of the vote. A late endorsement from Sarah Palin was not enough for tea party-backed Joe Miller — known for a 2010 primary upset — who had 32 percent of the vote. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell was third with 25 percent.
Sullivan served as attorney general from June 2009 to December 2010 under former Gov. Sarah Palin, and then as commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources until 2013. He served 20 years in the Marine Corps.
Sen. Begich has about a three-point lead over Sullivan, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly went on the attack in a statement: “Alaska’s bitter and divisive Republican primary exposed that Dan Sullivan does not look out for what’s in the best interests of Alaskans. After carrying water for Sarah Palin and trying to restrict access to public lands for hunters and fishers, Sullivan is now hoping to do the Koch brothers’ bidding in the US Senate.”
Wednesday morning Sullivan tweeted that he is “proud” to have the nomination, and plans to build on grassroots support to win the seat.
— Dan Sullivan (@DanSullivan2014) August 20, 2014