VoteVets wades into Alaska Senate race
© Courtesy of Dan Sullivan for Senate

A veterans advocacy group plans to launch a $675,000 ad campaign slamming Alaska Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan for backing a local mining project that critics believe could harm the state’s commercial fishing industry.

In a new 30-second spot, VoteVets Action Fund knocks Sullivan, a Marine veteran and the former Alaska Natural Resources Department chief, for supporting the controversial Pebble mine project in Bristol Bay.


“In the Navy, I repaired boats to serve my country. Now, I fish off them to earn a living,” John Christensen, a Port Heiden resident, says in the ad that will run statewide on broadcast and cable channels beginning Sept. 1. 

“But Dan Sullivan would put my job, and thousands of others at risk, by supporting this…” which is followed by a quick cut to footage of a violent mining explosion. 

Christensen goes on to say how “even a small leak” at the proposed Pebble mine could “kill thousands of Alaskan jobs.”

“That may not matter much for someone from Ohio, like Dan Sullivan, but it would be a disaster for Alaska families, like mine,” he states.

The super-PAC backing incumbent Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary Alaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place MORE (D-Alaska) also questioned Sullivan's ties to the state in a commercial it released last week.

Begich is one of the Senate's most vulnerable incumbents. Polls have shown a close race but the Democratic incumbent has held a slight lead in recent surveys.

The VoteVets television buy will cost $650,000, while online banner advertising supplementing the ad will cost $25,000. 

The advocacy group, which has run television ads against the Pebble mine before, has collected around 64,000 petition signatures urging the Environmental Protection Agency to tap its powers under the Clean Water Act to quash the project, the release states.