Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan waves a sign at a busy intersection in Anchorage, Alaska. Sen. Sullivan on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, won reelection in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)

Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan waves a sign at a busy intersection in Anchorage, Alaska. Sen. Sullivan on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, won reelection in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)

Senate race called for Sullivan

Republican senator wins reelection.

By BECKY BOHRER

Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has won reelection in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross in a race that attracted outside attention with control of the Senate at stake.

The race had been determined too early to call on Election Day Nov. 3 due to a large number of outstanding absentee ballots. Election officials began counting more than 150,000 absentee and other ballots on Tuesday.

The result in Alaska means that control of the Senate won’t be decided until January Senate runoffs are held in Georgia.

The Gross campaign on Wednesday did not indicate it was immediately ready to concede after The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan.

“With so many Alaskans voices needing to be heard, we’ll continue to monitor the race as results come in and assess tonight,” Gross’ campaign manager, David Keith, said in a statement.

Indiana Sen. Todd Young, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a statement congratulated Sullivan, calling him a man “who has championed the unique needs of his state in Washington.”

Sullivan’s campaign manager did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Republicans in the top-tier races on Alaska’s ballot — President Donald Trump, Sullivan and U.S. Rep. Don Young — held largely similar vote counts, and advantages, when Election Day results and early votes through Oct. 29 were tallied.

The Associated Press called all three races for the Republican incumbents on Wednesday, after initial results from absentee and other ballot counts were released late Tuesday. The counting continued Wednesday.

Sullivan had predicted he would win. Gross, who said his campaign encouraged Alaskans to vote absentee, had urged patience in seeing the through the counting of votes.

Sullivan during the campaign questioned Gross’ independent label and sought to tie him to Democratic members of Congress that Sullivan cast as out-of-touch with Alaska issues. Gross, who won the Democratic nomination but said he wouldn’t be beholden to the party, called Sullivan a Trump “yes man.”

The largest bloc of registered voters in Alaska identify as independents, though the state has leaned Republican, sending one Democrat to the Senate since 1980: Mark Begich. Begich, who served a term, narrowly lost to Sullivan in 2014, another year when Senate control was at stake.

Financial disclosures through mid-October showed Gross had raised $16.9 million, compared to $9.8 million for Sullivan this election cycle.

Sullivan on election night said a takeaway from reelection wins by colleagues, such as Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Joni Ernst of Iowa “is a theme that I think’s going to be the theme of our race, which is, all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”

[With absentee ballots uncounted, many races too close too call]

This year saw an unprecedented level of interest in absentee voting in Alaska, prompting Keith last week to declare Sullivan’s lead in early returns could be overtaken. Sullivan’s campaign press secretary, Nate Adams, on Twitter expressed skepticism.

“The only state bigger than Alaska is the state of denial @DrAlGrossAK is in,” he posted last Thursday.

Gross and other critics of Sullivan sought to make Sullivan’s ties to President Donald Trump an issue. Sullivan said the Trump administration has been a partner with the state and pointed to investments in the military and rural law enforcement and moves to ease or lift restrictions on federal lands for oil and gas drilling and logging.

Sullivan defended changing his tune on advancing an election-year Supreme Court nominee from opposition to President Barack Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland in early 2016 to confirming Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett last month.

Sullivan accused Gross of getting rich off a health care system Gross seeks to change. Gross, who in 2017 wrote in support of a single-payer health care system, said articles he wrote on the issue were meant to draw attention to Alaska’s high health-care costs and not intended to viewed as the policy he would advance as a senator.

Gross said he worked hard in his practice as an orthopedic surgeon and increasingly got involved in health care advocacy after seeing what he called injustices in the system. He said he supports a public option for individuals and small businesses on the health insurance exchange.

More in News

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Thursday, Dec. 2

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

A man missing for more than 40 years was identified by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation as a Chugiak resident who was last seen in 1979 before being discovered murdered years before on an island near Anchorage in 1989. (Courtesy photo / Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Body found in ’80s ID’d with DNA analysis

The body, found in 1989, had been unidentified until now.

teaser
Planet Alaska: Visiting the ancestors through glimpses of glyphs

We live in Tlingit Aaní on Kaachxaan.akw’w where our petroglyphs are a symbol of home.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Dec. 1

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Tuesday, Nov. 30

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

The Pebble deposit lies at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the greatest salmon fishery in the world. (Courtesy Photo / Colin Arisman)
Pride of Bristol Bay: Permanent protections in view for Bristol Bay

By Bjorn Dihle For more than two decades, those who care about… Continue reading

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This photo shows a raven in the snow. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
On the Trails: Transition to winter — maybe

A mat of old leaves lined the roadway, each leaf fringed with crystals, making a pretty mosaic…

Most Read