Former Senate President Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, is seen at work on Friday, April 12, 2013. Huggins has said he is suspending his run for governor. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Former Senate President Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, is seen at work on Friday, April 12, 2013. Huggins has said he is suspending his run for governor. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Former state senator Huggins quits governor race

Former state senator Charlie Huggins has announced he is suspending his campaign for governor.

Huggins, who represented Wasilla in the Senate, previously served as Senate President and chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. He announced his decision on Facebook late Wednesday night.

“When I started my campaign, I saw a clear road to victory. However, this potentially could be the most expensive race in Alaska history,” he wrote. “After much prayer and deliberation, Becky and I have decided suspending the campaign is the right thing to do for our family and our State.”

Huggins went on to say that even though he is dropping out of the race, “It’s vital we elect a new governor this cycle.”

Incumbent Gov. Bill Walker, a Republican-turned-independent, has filed for re-election, and Huggins was one of several Republicans seeking to replace him.

Huggins’ announcement does not necessarily mean he is ending his campaign, but it is a step in that direction. Former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy, also a Republican from Wasilla, announced last year that he was suspending his campaign for governor while he coped with a heart ailment. One month ago, he resumed his campaign and announced he was resigning from the state senate to focus on the effort. His resignation was effective Jan. 15.

According to letters of intent filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission or filings with the Alaska Division of Elections, the remaining Republicans in the gubernatorial race are Dunleavy, Anchorage businessman and activist Scott Hawkins, sitting Rep. Mike Chenault of Nikiski, and Mike Sheldon of Petersburg.

Those men — and any other Republicans who announce their candidacy before the June 1 signup deadline — will face off in the Aug. 21 statewide primary.

Correction: The first version of this story misidentified Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


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