Dan Sullivan took 40 percent of the vote, handily beating Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell to win the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate. Sullivan, though, wouldn’t talk to reporters and didn’t come to Election Central at the Egan Convention Center, as winning candidates usually do. Veteran newsman Steve MacDonald of KTUU Channel 2 said he thought this might be an election night first.
“I can’t think, off hand, I cannot think of anyone who has refused to claim victory,” MacDonald says.
Sullivan held his lead all night, and once most of the vote was counted, his campaign staffers were seen pressing an Associated Press reporter to declare the winner. She said that wasn’t her job. After midnight, with the Egan Center shutting down, journalists gathered on the sidewalk outside a restaurant where Sullivan was having a private party. TV cameramen filmed through the closed windows. MacDonald says it was like the star of election night was a no-show, despite a lot of coaxing.
“The one thing that politicians crave to do is make that victory speech and we’ve tried, everybody here has tried every single possible way, to get them to talk, and they won’t do it.”
Just before 2 a.m., after Miller conceded, the Sullivan campaign finally issued a press release acknowledging their win.