Parnell endorses Dunleavy for governor

Former Gov. Sean Parnell waited to cast his Electoral College vote for Donald Trump during a ceremony in December 2016 in Juneau. Parnell endorsed Mike Dunleavy for governor on Tuesday. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy on Tuesday.

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Parnell said in a post on Dunleavy’s Facebook page: “when Mike tells you something, you can believe it.”

Parnell didn’t give his endorsement to his former running mate, Mead Treadwell. Treadwell served as lieutenant governor in Parnell’s administration from 2010 to 2014.

The announcement came the same day that Treadwell said he has the business experience needed to be governor – and Dunleavy doesn’t.

On Tuesday, Treadwell held the first press conference of his campaign to be the Republican candidate for governor.

Treadwell said Dunleavy didn’t fulfill his commitment to voters, since he didn’t serve his entire state Senate term. And he said Dunleavy could have done more to repeal the controversial criminal justice law known as Senate Bill 91.

“I don’t have anything negative to say about Mike, except, ‘Where have you been?’” Treadwell said. “Having a fuss and leaving the Senate did not protect your PFD. He wasn’t there when there was a vote on the Permanent Fund Protection Act. He wasn’t there when (Anchorage Sen.) Mia Costello was looking for co-sponsors to repeal SB 91. He wasn’t there when the amendments to SB 91 were passed. He stood for election and told people he was going to serve for four years and he didn’t.”

Dunleavy campaign manager Brett Huber said in a statement to the press that Treadwell “has dusted off his old, unsuccessful playbook of attacking the frontrunner without adding anything useful to the debate.”

The primary is Aug. 21.

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Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at

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