Republican power brokers across the country are still celebrating after Tuesday night’s primary election secured their favorite candidate to run against Sen. Mark Begich in November.

Dan Sullivan won his race against Tea Party-backed Joe Miller and current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

Despite the negative jabs between the Republican Senate candidates, political commentator and University of Alaska Anchorage professor Forrest Nabors says the Republican Party is rejuvenated.

“Eighteen months ago the Republican Party of Alaska was a mess and now this campaign has single-handedly healed over their divisions,” Nabors said.

The November election will be a showdown for control of the U.S. Senate, and Dan Sullivan is right where Republicans want him to be — ready to take on Sen. Mark Begich.

“Bring it on, bring it on,” said Begich, addressing supporters on Wednesday. “I’ll talk to you until you are blue in the face about everything I’ve done to make sure Alaska is a better place, not only for this generation but for generations to come.”

“Senator Begich has a lot of support and he is the most politically skilled office holder in Alaska today,” said Nabors, who believes Sullivan is going to be riding the libertarian mood that is prevalent in Alaska – limited government, less taxes and less regulation.

“Last night’s election returns seem to show that Alaskans are moving away from the idea of progressive reform in American government,” Nabors said.

Nabors says the Democratic campaign for governor took a hit with more voters siding with No on One — to keep SB21 in place.

But that is far from how Democratic candidate Byron Mallott sees it.

“As close as it is, relative to the amount of money that was spent by the Vote No proponents, there is certainly nothing there to gloat about,” Mallott said.

If elected, Mallott says he will implement SB21.

“It seems the ‘No Vote’ will prevail; it’s an exercise in direct democracy, Alaska’s voters speaking.”

Mallott says he wants to focus on what he calls a state budget crisis.

“So that we don’t burn through our savings which we are doing currently at a very high level,” Mallott said. “We need to look to managing our revenues in a way that allows us to move to a sustainable future with budgets that we can afford and at the same time building a strong economy.”

Sen. Hollis French successfully secured his position as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan joins Gov. Sean Parnell on the Republican ticket.

The race with the largest age gap will also appear on the ballot in November: 29-year-old Democrat Forrest Dunbar will try to unseat 81-year-old Rep. Don Young.

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