Politics

Berkowitz wins AK’s Dem nomination for governor

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Former state lawmaker Ethan Berkowitz has won the Democratic nomination for Alaska’s governor.

Berkowitz held off a challenge Tuesday from state Sen. Hollis French in a race that he largely spent focused on the Republican winner, Gov. Sean Parnell.

Parnell easily won his party’s nomination.

Berkowitz, a former state House minority leader, has blasted Parnell’s approach to bringing a natural gas pipeline to the state, saying Alaska can’t wait any longer to begin building and should consider financing part of the line.

Berkowitz has previously made unsuccessful bids for lieutenant governor and U.S. House.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who inherited the job from Sarah Palin and was credited with restoring calm after her tumultuous tenure, has won the GOP gubernatorial primary.

In winning Tuesday, Parnell had to fend off criticism that he’s not bold enough to lead the state.

Parnell beat a field of challengers that included former legislator Ralph Samuels and Bill Walker, an Anchorage attorney who mounted an aggressive campaign funded with hundreds of thousands of his own dollars.

During his first year in office, Parnell won praise from some for restoring calm to state government after Palin quit last summer, and has scored some legislative wins in advancing his agenda.

In November, Parnell will face either state Sen. Hollis French or Ethan Berkowitz, a Democrat whose primary campaign was focused in part on attacking Parnell.