Alaska Senate Noms Battle Over Who Is Better Buds With Lisa Murkowski


Both Alaska Senate candidates want to be in the good graces of the state’s other U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski (R), with each of them going up on the air with ads that seek to align their campaign with the 12-year senator.

Incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, already ran afoul of Murkowski when he aired an ad that talked up their amiable working relationship. Murkowski sent Begich’s campaign a cease-and-desist letter to take it down, but Begich refused and his campaign manager told TPM that the ad had been a hit with voters.

Now Begich is up with a new ad that features the same Associated Press photograph of Begich and Murkwoski side by side and smiling.

“I like how he works with Lisa,” Margie Brown, former president and CEO of Cook Inlet Region, Inc., an Alaska native corporation which has undertaken energy projects in the state, says in the ad. She notes that both Begich and Murkowski serve on the Appropriations Committee.

“We can’t afford to lose that,” she says to conclude the spot, which is airing statewide. “I voted for Lisa. Now I’m voting for Mark.”

It follows with the Begich campaign’s focus, as TPM has reported, on Alaska-specific issues and bipartisanship.

But Begich’s GOP challenger, former state attorney general Dan Sullivan, isn’t standing for it. His campaign is up with its own ad, which is also airing statewide, that features Murkowski herself giving an endorsement of Sullivan.

“I need a partner in the Senate who will work to advance Alaska’s interests, not the Obama agenda,” she says, without directly referencing Begich. “Alaska needs Dan Sullivan.”

According to TPM’s PollTracker average, Sullivan currently holds a four-point advantage, 46.3 percent to 42.3 percent, in the race.

Image via YouTube.