JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said Tuesday he plans to vote for President Donald Trump, telling a radio program Trump and his administration “have been fully committed to helping our state.”
Sullivan, a first-term Republican senator, faces a re-election bid in which his major competitor, independent Al Gross, has tried to portray him as a “yes man” to Trump.
Four years ago, after a 2005 video surfaced in which Trump made lewd comments about women, Sullivan cited the “reprehensible revelations” about Trump in withdrawing his support of Trump’s candidacy. Sullivan, a former state attorney general, at the time noted his own work to fight sexual assault and domestic violence and said he would support Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, for president.
On Alaska Public Media’s “Talk of Alaska” program Tuesday, Sullivan said the choice to support Trump this go-round is, to him, “very clear.” He said he is concerned about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s agenda.
Sullivan cited investments in law enforcement and the military and access to federal lands as issues of importance to the state where he said the Trump administration has shown support. In late 2017, legislation was passed to allow for oil and gas drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, something long-advocated by Alaska elected officials
“My view is we need a government that’s a partner in opportunity, not an obstacle,” Sullivan said.
Biden has called for building toward a “clean energy economy,” investing in infrastructure and “permanently protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” according to his campaign website.
Biden was vice president under President Barack Obama. During the Obama administration, political leaders in Alaska complained of what they saw as federal overreach.