Virginia GOP group helps boost conservative Anchorage school board candidates

An independent political group with money from a national Republican organization is running radio ads boosting conservative candidates in Anchorage’s local school board races.

The group is called Families of the Last Frontier. It’s spending $7,000 on new ads that feature former Anchorage mayor Rick Mystrom endorsing conservative school board candidates Kai Binkley Sims and David Nees, according to a financial disclosure filed Wednesday.

The group’s chair — Anchorage Republican activist Steve Strait — didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did Randy Ruedrich, a former Alaska Republican Party chairman whose company is also a donor to Families of the Last Frontier.

That group received $40,000 Wednesday from GOPAC, a Republican organization once run by Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker.

Virginia-based GOPAC’s major donors include tobacco company Reynolds American and beer company Anheuser-Busch, according to a report filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s unusual for a national Republican group to get involved in local Anchorage elections. The races are officially nonpartisan, though the state Republican and Democratic parties often help recruit and fundraise for candidates.