Two’s a campaign. Three’s a crowd.
Political blogger Jeff Landfield has withdrawn from the race for Anchorage’s Senate District L, ending his independent campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Natasha von Imhof after Democratic candidate Roselynn Cacy declined to clear the field.
Today marked the deadline for candidates and political parties to make adjustments before finalizing the ballot for the general election, a day where politicos hope that last-minute changes will capitalize on unexpected primary results.
That’s the hope for races like South Anchorage’s House District 28 where Anchorage Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance joined the ballot today as a Democrat-backed independent for a seat held by the ousted Rep. Jennifer Johnston.
In Lanfield’s case, he was hoping that Cacy—who’s run for the seat twice, losing in the 2012 general election by 33 points and the 2016 primary election by 27 points—would clear the way for a challenge against von Imhof, who eked out a primary win against a right-wing conspiracy theorist and was considered to be particularly vulnerable.
“In a heads-up race against Senator von Imhof I feel I would have had a great chance at winning. It would have been an epic campaign. But in a three-way race the path is not there,” Landfield wrote in a Facebook post announcing the decision today, citing von Imhof’s massive campaign war chest as a daunting task. “If I stay in, a lot of resources and people’s hard-earned money will be needlessly spent on this race. … The only viable path was a heads-up race between me and Senator von Imhof. If you know me at all you know how difficult it was for me to withdraw from this race. But I feel it was the only responsible course of action given the hand I was dealt.”
This wasn’t Landfield’s first foray into politics. He debuted in 2012 on a Tea Party-esque platform and finished third in the 2016 three-way primary for the seat against von Imhof as a Republican. Since then, he’s reemerged as a more moderate political player who’s behind the Alaska Landmine political blog.
Going in to this race, he had the support of many moderates and progressives who saw him as a potential ally in the face of an uprising of far-right Republican candidates, many of whom defeated moderate incumbent Republicans in this year’s primaries.
We talked with Landfield earlier in the year, where he talked about the need to find more common ground in Alaska politics in order to bring resolution to the years-long fight over the state’s finances.
“This decision did not come easy,” he said today, “But sometimes you have to know when to throw away a losing hand, no matter how much you have in the middle.”