Sullivan looks to bolster Alaska links

Alaska Senate candidate Dan Sullivan (R) is pushing back against Democratic attacks that he's a carpetbagger in his first ads, featuring his Native Alaskan wife to counter charges he doesn't have deep roots in the state.

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"We met while I was working for Sen. Ted Stevens, and the first place I brought Dan was to my family's fish camp on the Yukon River. He fell hard for me — and for Alaska," Sullivan's wife, Julie Fate Sullivan, says in one of the ads. "And after Dan completed his active duty service in the Marines, we came home to Fairbanks to raise our family."

Sullivan, who grew up in Ohio, has been facing attacks from his primary foes and Sen. Mark Begich's (D-Alaska) allies that he hasn't spent much time in Alaska. He moved there in 1997, left in 2002 to work for the Bush administration and serve an active-duty stint in the Marines, and returned in 2009 to become the state's attorney general.

Both ads tout his resume and connections to the state.

"He served our country in the United States Marine Corps and pursued terrorists across the globe. As our attorney general, he worked to put an end to violence against women and sued to stop ObamaCare. As our commissioner of natural resources, he fought to jumpstart Alaskan energy production and our economy," the other ad says.

Sullivan is the front-runner in his primary against Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller (R).

Begich, a top GOP target, is out with his own ad touting his work to expand oil drilling in the state. The ad sets him up as an opponent of Washington, a critical push for his campaign, and a proponent of increased energy exploration in a state that's heavily dependent on its fossil fuel industry.

"First the EPA said 'no,' then the Army Corps of Engineers said 'no.' We had waited decades to drill here in the national petroleum preserve, but Washington was still saying no, all because they didn't want to build a road here," Begich says in the ad, which features him riding around on a snowmobile in the area. "It took five years, but I got the road approved. Next year, the oil starts flowing. I approve this message because, sooner or later, Washington will figure out that I don't take 'no' for an answer."