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Candidate for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives discuss campaigns, upcoming election

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 4:19 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With the general election on November 3rd, candidates in the races for U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives shared their thoughts before wrapping up the election cycle.

In the Senate race, incumbent Republican Dan Sullivan said he is confident about a victory. “They may have the money, but we have the grassroots, the organization, and the ideas and policies that people want.”

Sullivan explained that he enjoys campaigning. “Even during the pandemic, I love getting out. You can do it safely, meeting with Alaskans, going door to door, hearing their concerns, hearing their hopes -- and to me that’s the most energizing aspect of being an elected official.”

Sullivan added, “I love Fairbanks. My wife and I were married there, we lived there, we started our family there -- and the agenda that I want to put forward, continuing to build our military, opening resource development like ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] and NPRA [National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska], more federal judges that respect the 2nd Amendment, is exactly what my opponent is against.”

Nonpartisan Senate Candidate Al Gross said the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted his campaign travel plains. “It’s been a different type of campaign cycle. I’m really looking to make a better Alaska and COVID, of course, is creating all sorts of challenges -- but I think along with it come a lot of opportunities for some very positive change here in the state.”

Gross said, “There are an awful lot of absentee ballots out there that won’t get counted until November 10th, at a minimum. So I don’t think we will have a clear winner tomorrow [Tuesday] evening. I think it’s very, very unlikely that anyone can call this race because I believe over a third of Alaskans have voted early. So we’re going to have to sit back and hold our breath and cross our fingers for at least another week.”

Gross explained that when the Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund Dividend were being created, “There was so many opportunities, and a sense of optimism back then, and people were excited about the opportunities here in the state, and I want to bring that sense of excitement back to Alaska.”

John Wayne Howe, the Alaskan Independence Party candidate for U.S. Senate, said his strategy this election is “offering people a choice with a different point of view.”

Howe said he’s spent five thousand dollars on his campaign. “I’ve done what I can with a good message. We’ll see where it ends up, and maybe people will be more awake than I think they are.”

Howe said he would like to see people vote for the benefit of their neighbors. “Don’t vote for something that you want. Vote for what you know is best for Alaska, individual rights, Alaskans individually, and what gives us, as a group, the most independence and power over the evils that come upon us.”

In the race for U.S. House of Representatives, Republican incumbent Don Young discussed his campaign, saying, “We had a good campaign staff, people are running it well, and I’m pretty proud of what they’ve done, and we hope to be victorious on Tuesday night, and we’ll see what happens.”

Young added, “This is probably, and I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, the most important single job in the state, elected-wise, for getting things done and for the people of Alaska."

Young said that if he doesn’t win, he doesn’t lose. Rather, the state loses. “This is an important job for the state. It’s not about Don Young. It never has been about Don Young, and I wish somebody would run that is totally competent of doing the job. This is not a learn-on-the-job type program.”

Nonpartisan challenger Alyse Galvin, said about her campaign, “I spent a lot of time traveling all over the state and engaging with Alaskans, and then once the pandemic hit, of course, the way that we engaged with voters changed significantly.”

Galvin thinks the race will be razor-thin. “We’re counting on every single Alaskan to show up at the polls so that this race isn’t decided by a coin toss.”

“As the nation climbs out of this pandemic-induced recession, there will be a tremendous interest in funding infrastructure projects across the country,” Galvin said, adding, “Alaska must have someone in the room as those funding decisions are made, and unlike my opponent, I will have the opportunity to be in the room serving as our independent representative for all Alaskans.”

Gerald “Jer” Heikes, after a loss to Don Young in the primary elections, is running as a write-in candidate in the race for U.S. Representative. He said he is voting against Ballot Measure 1.

“I’m against taxes in any way, shape or form. I mean I know it’s kind of like the lifeblood of our economy, but new taxes aren’t going to help, but more oil would help.”

Heikes said he would do away with mail-in balloting altogether, except in the case of absentee ballots for members of the armed services. “Forget the mail-in ballots, because that’s just a fraud for the Democrat Party. They try and make it seem like it’s something else, but it’s a fraudulent affair.”

He explained that if Trump loses on election night, “We’re going to be facing the most tyrannical government you ever saw in your life, and you might as well kiss your rights and your everything else goodbye.”

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