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Two weeks before the midterms, UTBB endorses three candidates on the democratic ticket

Isabelle Ross/KDLG

The United Tribes of Bristol Bay announced its endorsement on Tuesday, citing the candidates' support for salmon habitat protection.

The United Tribes of Bristol Bay is calling the candidates it endorses a "Salmon Slate." The slate consists of U.S. congressional candidate Alyse Galvin, House District 37 incumbent Bryce Edgmon, and gubernatorial candidate Mark Begich. Galvin is an independent running on the democratic ticket. Edgmon and Begich are both democrats.

On Tuesday, UTBB Executive Director Alanna Hurley said in a statement that each of the candidates has “demonstrated records and policies supporting protections for our salmon and traditional way of life.” The organization also applauded their opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine.

Republican Representative Don Young, District 37 candidate William Weatherby and gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy are running against Galvin, Edgmon and Dunleavy. At this time, they have not responded to a request for comment.

On Saturday, the Calista Regional Native Corporation switched their endorsement to Dunleavy after Walker dropped out of the race. Calista also endorsed Young. Both Young and Dunleavy oppose Ballot Measure 1. 

UPDATE: October 24, 2018

William Weatherby said that he was not surprised by UTBB's endorsement of Edgmon. 

"He would have to do something that displeases them greatly for them to turn away from him. It doesn't matter how much they agree with my position, which is pretty much the same as Bryce's," Weatherby said, referring to their stances on salmon habitat protection. "I believe that people have their own minds and will take UTBB's endorsement into consideration, but ultimately the decision is their own."

Weatherby is undecided on Ballot Measure 1, while Edgmon supports it. Both candidates oppose Pebble Mine.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.