Could Alaska's U.S. Senators each have the same name? Former mayor Dan Sullivan challenges Murkowski

Published: Jun. 1, 2016 at 5:26 PM AKDT
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Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, a moment before the deadline to file as a candidate, announced a run against GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Anchorage immigration attorney Margaret Stock is running for the same seat as an independent.

Sullivan served as Anchorage mayor from 2009 to 2015 and was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor alongside then-incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell.

If elected, both of Alaska's senators would be named Dan Sullivan.

"One is not enough," the former mayor joked when reached by phone.

Rachel Kallander, deputy campaign manager for Murkowski, reacted to the news with confidence, saying that the campaign is well prepared for the primary.

“Our team has worked hard to prepare and we are laser focused on a victory in August. We have the resources, local support and man power assembled to run a robust campaign and win this race to ensure that Lisa can continue to bring real results home for Alaskan families, our military and communities," Kallander told Channel 2 in an email.

Below is a Q&A with Sullivan:
Austin Baird:

Why are you jumping into the race?

Dan Sullivan:

"I think competition is a good thing overall for any candidate, whether for an incumbent or a first timer. Baptism through fire helps make the candidate stronger. Having contact from people around the state for the past several months, from people who essentially wanted to see a choice in the Republican primary, that's why I'm doing this. The Murkowski family and my family are longtime friends. This is not based on anything other than wanting to make sure that conservative voters have a choice."


So what's the choice? How are you different from Senator Murkowski?


"That'll come out during the campaign. I'm not going to get into this too much into her record. I'm going to just put out what I believe. ... I wont' be directly criticizing Senator Murkwoski. That won't be part of the campaign."


What issues will be at the core of your campaign?


"Certainly, fiscal responsibility. We've seen the national debt go from $4 trillion or $5 trillion up to $20 trillion. And our presence internationally has certainly been weakened. ... Those are some of the big things I'll be talking about. But this campaign literally started 15 minutes ago. I hope you and others give me time to fully present a policy platform."


Why wait until June 1 to file?


"It is the deadline, and often when you make a difficult decision, you want to wait until the last minute, talk it over with your family."


Do you have any Beltway organizations backing you? Or individuals or groups here that have committed to support your campaign.


"None of the above. This is literally David vs. Goliath. She's raised a lot of money. She's got a lot of special interest groups behind her -- which is understandable -- but we've raised no money. This is about -- the basic message is that the Republicans that will vote in the primary in August will have a choice of candidates with some differing viewpoints. Over the next weeks and months we'll detail what those issues are."