Multiple Republican sources have confirmed that Mead Treadwell is considering running for governor. The filing deadline is June 1 at 5 pm, a week away. A contingent of Republicans, who could best be described as Ted Stevens Republicans, aren’t excited about Republican candidate Mike Dunleavy. They are looking for a more traditional, business Republican.
Scott Hawkins and Mike Chenault, both Republican candidates for governor, have not seemed to get much momentum. Many feel that Dunleavy is the clear front runner at this point. The primary is on August 21, under three months away.
Two sources also confirmed a recent meeting at Treadwell’s house with Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist and “Americans for Prosperity types.” (How come no one told me Grover Norquist was in town?) I doubt the the only thing discussed at the meeting was national tax policy.
Treadwell served as lieutenant governor under Sean Parnell from 2010-2014. He also unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in the 2014 Republican primary. He finished third behind Joe Miller and Dan Sullivan. Sullivan went on to beat Mark Begich in the general election. Treadwell has since been working on Arctic investment with the private equity firm PT Capital.
If Treadwell does decide to run, it will surely add to the awkwardness among Republicans. Mead is a well known Republican and has close ties to many in the business community. And some of his former staffers and campaign workers would be working against him. The monied up independent expenditure, Dunleavy for Alaska, has Cale Green and Paxson Woelber as paid consultants. Green worked for Treadwell when he was lieutenant governor. He also worked as political director for Treadwell’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign. Woelber worked on Treadwell’s 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor, and then worked on the Parnell/Treadwell campaign. He also did some work on Treadwell’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign. Both are good friends with Treadwell. Full disclosure, I am friends with Green and Woelber and they help out with some Landmine projects. They have no control over Landmine content.
Treadwell isn’t the only well known Republican being urged to run by some establishment Republicans. Several sources confirmed that, and this is for real, former Alaska Senator and Governor Frank “The Bank” Murkowski has been asked to run. He is said to be speaking at a Commonwealth North lunch today (5/25/2018). Sources also say he was in Southeast Alaska last week doing speaking engagements. There is also talk that he has asked to meet with the current Republican candidates.
Murkowski is 85 years old, which, if elected, would make him the oldest governor in Alaska history. He finished third behind John Binkley and Sarah Palin in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary. He was the incumbent at the time. It is hard to say whether or not he is actually considering running, but it seems very unlikely. It is bizarre people are even asking him. I guess some people take the term ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ seriously.
A Landmine reader said if he does run his campaign slogan should be “Daddy’s Home”
A longtime Alaska journalist said, “When Frank Murkowski was governor, those were the DAYS for journalists in Alaska! And they only got better with Palin.”
The uncertainty about who will run for governor will be gone in a week. Anyone planning to run must file by 5 pm on June 1. Then the race will really be underway. Republicans are good at going after their own. It will be an interesting and entertaining two and a half months leading up to the August 21 primary.