Three Anchorage-area Republicans in contested primaries got the backing of an independent expenditure group , according to a new radio ad that’s playing on Anchorage radio stations.
The ad from “Alaskans for Public Safety Now” endorsed Rep. Chuck Kopp, a former police chief, as well as Kelly Merrick and Nancy Dahlstrom, who are both running for the two open House seats in Eagle River.
Two of the group’s top contributors are unions representing firefighters: Alaska Professional Fire Fighters Association and Anchorage Fire Fighters 1264. Both groups are funded with union dues. The third contributor, according to the group’s disclaimer, is the union-affiliated Putting Alaskans First independent expenditure group.
The ad was placed by Lottsfeldt Strategies, and Midnight Sun publisher Jim Lottsfeldt has a long track record of collaboration with fire fighter Tom Wescott. Lottsfeldt had no comment.
According to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, the ad will began running on Monday and will run through the primary election on Aug. 21. It’s set to run on KFQD, KEAG, KMXS and KWHL.
Kopp is running for re-election in a primary fight with Stephen Duplantis. The winner will face Democrat Sue Levi in the general election.
Dahlstrom is running for House District 13, which is currently held by Rep. Dan Saddler who’s vacating the seat to run for the open Eagle River Senate seat. She’ll face Bill Cook and Craig Christenson in the Republican primary. The winner will face nonpartisan candidate Danyelle Kimp, who’s running uncontested in the Democratic primary.
Kelly Merrick is running for House District 14, which is currently held by Rep. Lora Reinbold who’s vacating the seat to also run for the open Eagle River Senate Seat. Merrick will face Jamie Allard, who’s got the backing of Reinbold, and Eugene Harnett in the Republican primary. The winner will face nonpartisan Joe Hackenmueller, who’s running uncontested in the Democratic primary.
All three candidates have some form of union backing. Here’s the breakdown of contributions each candidate has received from union groups found in the Midnight Sun’s analysis of campaign contributions:
Kopp: $1,000 from Anchorage Police Dept. Employees Association, $1,000 from Alaska Laborers Local 341 and $1,000 from the International Association of Firefighters
Merrick: $1,000.00 from ALPEC Laborer’s Local 942, $1,000.00 from UA Local 375, $1,000.00 from Alaska Laborer’s Local 341, $1,000.00 from Public Employees Local 71, $1,000.00 from Alaska Laborers PAC, $1,000.00 from International Assoc. of Firefighters, $1,000.00 from IBEW Local 1547 PAC, $1,000.00 from United Association Local 367
Dahlstrom: $1,000 from IBEW, $1,000 from Alaska Laborers Local 341