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Fact Checker: Alyse Galvin ‘isn’t a liberal’ campaign ad

Fact Checker evaluates claims made in candidates’ campaign ads.
Fact Checker is reviewing the truthfulness and accuracy of campaign ads.
Fact Checker is reviewing the truthfulness and accuracy of campaign ads.(Colin Lamar / KTUU | Colin Lamar / KTUU)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 8:18 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alyse Galvin, an independent candidate and the Democratic nominee, is taking a second run at the congressional seat of Alaska’s long-time incumbent, Don Young.

A television ad paid for by the Alyse for Alaska campaign tells voters, via the grandfatherly advice of 90-year-old Phillip Morrow dressed in a flannel shirt and red suspenders, “Don’t believe anyone who says she’s a liberal.”

The distinction matters in a state that prides itself on doing things its own way, and whose congressional delegation shuns national party Democrats as meddling outsiders who don’t understand Alaska’s needs.

Alaska News Source’s Fact Checker cannot necessarily fact check if Galvin is a liberal or not, as many people will have a different opinion on what constitutes a liberal, but Fact Checker can evaluate claims to evidence of what Galvin has previously stated.

In the same campaign ad, Morrow tells Alaskans, “I want a fighter who will stand up to the national Democrats on [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], protect our gun rights, strengthen our military, balance the budget and oppose higher taxes on working Alaskans.”

Fact Checker rates this generally true, based on Galvin’s positions and statements throughout her present-day and 2018 campaigns.

Earlier this year, House and Senate Democrats sent letters urging major banks to stop financing oil and gas drilling in ANWR. Galvin has said she won’t follow suit. Her husband works for a company that conducts oil field exploration on Alaska’s North Slope, and she’s said she understands the importance the industry has in helping Alaskans support their families.

“I’m a supporter of ANWR, opponent of the Green New Deal and a strong supporter of the jobs that come from natural resource development in Alaska,” Galvin said during a debate with Young on Oct. 15.

Young and Galvin both support the Second Amendment.

As for the military, Galvin told the Anchorage Daily News she views Alaska as an important military location, noting its vast coastline and international prominence within the arctic.

Galvin views health care costs as one of the major factors affecting the economy, and among the ideas, she’s said could help would be allowing states to purchase prescription medications from other countries to reduce costs. In an interview with Alaska Public Media, Galvin said that while she does not support a Medicare-for-all model of national health care in Alaska, saying it won’t work, she does think “a public option in the right setting could be considered, where folks could buy in and it provides competition.”

“I’m not a liberal, Washington Democrat. I’m an independent,” Galvin said in August, before the primary election.

However, on the ballot, Galvin will be listed as the Democratic nominee. Her undeclared party affiliation won’t be shown, despite a lawsuit she filed hoping to get the Division of Elections to more accurately identify her.

Young, who’s held office for nearly half of a century, has a long history of defeating challengers. When Galvin garnered 46% of the vote in 2018, it was the closest race anyone has mounted against Young since 1990. Galvin is working to convince Alaskans she has her own identity and to distinguish herself from Young and Democratic stereotypes.

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