Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller (R) ganged up on former Alaska Department of Natural Resources head Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanRepublicans defend McCain amid Trump attacks Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget Pentagon chief calls reports of charges to allies erroneous: 'We won't do cost plus 50' MORE (R) in their first Senate primary debate.

Miller and Treadwell ripped the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the short time he's spent in Alaska.

Treadwell hit Sullivan for his out-of-state fundraising, citing big donations from the employees of a company his brother in Ohio owns.


"It's not your brother's Senate seat," Treadwell told Sullivan, according to the Alaska Dispatch. "I sometimes feel like I'm running against a paint company from Ohio."

Sullivan responded by saying he'd had a similar trajectory as former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) — he grew up in the Midwest and served in the military before moving to the state.

He has emerged as the front-runner in most polls and has a huge fundraising lead, partly due to his national connections. He worked in the Bush administration, and both he and his brother are close to Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Treadwell has deeper ties in the state but has proven to be a weak fundraiser. The big question is whether attacks on Sullivan's tenure in the state damage his standing for the general election — Democrats have been pounding him on the issue as well.

The three are vying to take on Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichFormer GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world Dem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enough MORE (D-Alaska), who's running a top-notch campaign in the conservative state.

Sullivan also got some help on the air on Thursday, with American Crossroads, which has endorsed him, launching an ad saying Begich "takes credit" for things he didn't do and tying him to President Obama.