United Tribes of Bristol Bay endorses 'Salmon Slate' of candidates for the Nov. 8 election
The United Tribes of Bristol Bay on Thursday announced its endorsements for the upcoming Nov. 8 election. UTBB is a consortium of 15 Bristol Bay Tribes representing a large part of the region.
The 2022 general election is ranked choice, and UTBB ranked the candidates that, in its words, will “best protect Bristol Bay’s wild salmon, abundant natural resources, and the cultures and communities they sustain.”
The so-called “Salmon Slate” endorsements for first-choice votes are incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Democrat Mary Peltola for U.S. House, and Democrat Les Gara for governor. The second-choice endorsements are Democrat Pat Chesbro for U.S. Senate and Independent Bill Walker in the race for governor.
[WATCH: Alaska ranked choice voting, explained]
In state races, UTBB has backed Democrat Lyman Hoffman for Alaska State Senate and independent Bryce Edgmon for the state House. Both are incumbents. Hoffman is running against Veterans Party of Alaska candidate Willy Keppel, while Edgmon is running unopposed.
Voters will also be asked whether the state should hold a constitutional convention to revise the state’s governing document. UTBB opposes a constitutional convention and recommended voting no on Ballot Measure One.
[READ: Alaska’s constitutional convention question, explained]
Earlier this month, the Bristol Bay Native Corporation endorsed Murkowski and Peltola for the Senate and House races. CEO Jason Metrokin said in a news release that Murkowski shares the corporation's dedication to resource development efforts and its opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine. And Board Chair Russell Nelson said Peltola is bringing issues like food security and fisheries management to a national level.
These endorsements follow the region’s support for the congressional candidates in the August primary and special election. Murkowski won House District 37 handily in the primary, with 58% of the votes. Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka came in a distant second, with 23% of the district’s votes. In the special general election, Peltola won 43% of the district’s first-round votes, while Nick Begich III and Sarah Palin won 29% and 27%, respectively.
The endorsements don’t reflect the results of the gubernatorial primary, however. Incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy won 35% of the district’s votes, followed by former Gov. Walker with 30% and Democrat Gara at 20%.
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