Condoleezza Rice backs Dan Sullivan in Alaska

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is endorsing Alaska Senate candidate Dan Sullivan (R), defending her former employee's record in a new ad for American Crossroads.

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The ad marks one of Rice's first endorsements of the 2014 election cycle, and Crossroads's first decision to support a Republican candidate who faces a competitive primary.

In the ad, Rice responds to recent criticism from both Democrats and his GOP opponents that Sullivan is a carpetbagger. He grew up in Ohio and moved from Alaska to the Washington, D.C., area early last decade to work at the White House before serving under Rice on the National Security Council and at the State Department.

"Dan Sullivan is tireless in his defense of this country. He showed that in his service in the military, and he showed that in his service in the White House and in the State Department," Rice says in the ad. "Now, Dan faces political attacks because he wanted his family by his side. Remember that serving our country required some time in our capital. Dan will be a great senator because he loves and cares for the state of Alaska, and he's a great family man."

Sullivan is vying with Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller (R) for the right to face Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) in the general election.

Crossroads is spending $180,000 on the ad and is airing it statewide.