There are three leading candidates for the Republican nomination: Mead Treadwell, Scott Hawkins and Mike Dunleavy. Between now and August, Republicans like me will ask themselves the question: whom to support?
I know candidate each fairly well, and would support any of the three Republicans over the others in the race (hardcore Democrat Begich, and the incumbent Walker).
For me, the question of whom to support is personal given a lifetime of political involvement, and a family with deep roots in Alaska.
My political decisions are my own, and I have taken some time to reach a decision about my individual effort and focus on the Republican Primary for Governor. Here’s my take:
I have known Mead Treadwell since we both served in mid-level administration jobs in the Hickel administration. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, Mead is someone who is focused on the Arctic, high level investments, moving effortlessly in the elite economic circles of Alaska and he is an eager participant in conferences, seminars, and making connections among the social, political and economic elite. I supported him for U.S. Senate, because I thought those attributes would have made a good fit for U.S. Senator (but Mead came in third that year, losing the 2014 Republican nomination to both Dan Sullivan and Joe Miller).
During the last two years, I have really had a wonderful chance to get to know Scott Hawkins. He is bright, affable, successful, and blessed with a beautiful wife and daughter. There is much to admire about Scott, and he has put in time behind the scenes raising funds and running an Independent Expenditure group to help Republicans get elected to the State Legislature. I was as saddened as anyone by his news this spring that he is afflicted with pancreatic cancer. I wish him the best and a full recovery.
I have also watched the career of Mike Dunleavy. And I have been impressed, which is hard to do.
Mike Dunleavy moved to Alaska in the early 1980s from Scranton, PA. He loves this state and the boundless opportunity that should exist for every hardworking Alaskan. After working timber in Southeast, he moved to Rural Alaska (near Kotzebue) and taught school, and then served as a principal and superintendent. It was there he met and married Rose, and they have three amazing daughters. Mike Dunleavy won the same Senate seat once held by my mother, and he carried on her tradition of conservative values and politics. He has been a steady, firm voice for a truly balanced budget, for freedom for business, individuals, and the constitutional rights essential to a free people. He has proven his commitment to the traditional 50/50 split of the PFD from the earnings of the Permanent Fund. He stood tall against higher oil taxes, gas taxes, aviation fuel taxes, income taxes, PFD taxes, and every other tax the liberals and Democrats keep pushing.
We have tough choices ahead. For those of us who have been around Alaska for a while, we know the difference between campaign promises and promises that can actually be kept. Through all the years on the Mat-Su School Board, through five years in the Alaska State Senate, and now as a Republican candidate for governor, Mike Dunleavy has a proven and trusted record of keeping his promises.
For me, the conservative choice is absolutely clear: Mike Dunleavy is simply the best choice to be our Republican candidate to defeat Mark Begich and Bill Walker.
Join me in endorsing, donating to and voting for Mike Dunleavy for Governor.
Kristie Babcock is an employer, business owner and soccer mom on the Kenai Peninsula. She is active in the Kenai Republican Women’s Club, and helps her husband with his volunteer role with the Alaska Republican Party. The daughter of Curtis and Lyda Green, she recently volunteered as a statewide co-chair of the Mike Dunleavy for Governor campaign along with former state representative Dick Randolph of Fairbanks and John Moller of Juneau.