Can Olympian help Senate hopeful go for gold in Alaska?

Olympic snowboarder Ryan Stassel may not have gotten the gold, but he's hoping he can help Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell medal in the Alaska Senate GOP primary. 

Stassel returned from Russia to his native Alaska to endorse Treadwell for Senate, saying the he had Olympic qualities of his own.

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“To become an Olympian takes dedication and the ability to keep fighting when you want to stop. Those traits are easily recognizable in others when you've been through those trying times yourself. I see those qualities in Mead Treadwell,” he said in a statement.

He also said that he worked as a fisherman to support his dream of going to the Olympics, and “only in Alaska could I do that.”

“We live in an amazing state. But we need to do better. I know Mead is the person that will help make Alaska a better place and I am happy to support his campaign,” he added. “I know he will fight to improve the state that allowed me to achieve my dreams. As an Alaskan, I know that Mead is a fellow Alaskan that truly encompasses the Alaskan spirit."

Stassel fell just short of making the Olympic finals and a chance to compete for medals this year, but the 21-year-old snowboarder is looking toward 2018 for another shot. He held a meet-and-greet with fans for Treadwell on Thursday.

Treadwell is vying for the chance to take on Sen. Mark Begich (D), a top Republican target this cycle. He’s facing former state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan and former Senate candidate Joe Miller in the primary. Treadwell, however, has been having fundraising problems — he raised less than a quarter million in the fourth quarter.