Senate race heats up in Kodiak

A fence near the corner of Mill Bay Road and Von Scheele displays signs for all three of the main U.S. Senate candidates Sunday afternoon. (Sam Friedman photo)

Candidates for the U.S. Senate will be competing even more intensely for Kodiak’s votes during the next two weeks before the election.

In a last-minute push, both Republican Joe Mill p on his itinerary.

Miller plans to visit Kodiak Wednesday with events at the Senior Center, radio station KVOK and a town hall tentatively planned for the Kodiak Best Western Wednesday evening.

Murkowski’s visit will also feature a town hall meeting, and is scheduled for Oct. 28.

The Murkowski write-in campaign is also counting on a permanent presence in Kodiak more substantial than a yard sign. On Monday it opened an office next to the downtown Subway to distribute flyers and to remind voters to fill in the bubble.

The rent is paid by the statewide Murkowski campaign, but it came about because of a local request for a Kodiak office, said Kodiak Murkowski supporter Linda Kozak.

“There’s a group of supporters in Kodiak and it’s building and it’s growing,” she said. “It’s not so much an election for people as a movement.”

The office is staffed by campaign volunteers and will be open Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. in the weeks before the election.

Murkowski also recently opened offices in Wasilla and Kenai.

Murkowski’s local endorsements include borough Mayor Jerome Selby, state Sen. Gary Stevens and state Rep. Alan Austerman.

Murkowski has also received an endorsement from the Juneau-based commercial fishing group the United Fishermen of Alaska. Many Native groups across the state support her, including regional Native corporation Koniag and the statewide Alaska Native Federation.

As the winner of the Republican primary, Miller has the official support of Alaska’s largest political party. He also has the support of the Kodiak district of the state Republican Party. But the party’s candidate recently lost longtime district chairman Bob Brodie, who resigned his position to work for the Murkowski campaign.

Miller also has the support of Republican Gov. Sean Parnell in the general election. Parnell originally favored Murkowski in the Republican campaign, but switched his endorsement to Miller for the general election.

Democrat McAdams has the advantage of the unified support of the Democratic Party, although the Murkowski campaign hopes to appeal to moderate Democrats.

While Kodiak voters may see the Senate candidates in person in the next few weeks, they are certain to see their advertisements.

The three candidates have a collective $2 million remaining in cash to dump into advertising. That does not include ads from supporters like the pro-Miller Tea Party Express or the pro-Murkowski group of regional Native corporations campaigning under the name Alaskans Standing Together.

In campaign finance filings through Sep. 30, Murkowski’s campaign had raised direct contributions totaling $3.7 million, Miller had $1.3 million and McAdams had $685,000.

Mirror writer Sam Friedman can be reached via e-mail at sfriedman@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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