End the duopoly

Alaska independents defy political norms in race to unseat Republicans

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Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) One political consultant described an independent run for office as a newly-hatched sea turtle struggling for the shoreline.

A hatchling breaks through the safety of the egg, digging itself out of the sand where its mother securely buried it. Then, it is a mad dash for the ocean — predator seagulls and crabs lurk in the sky and sand. Only one in 1,000 survive.

Independent candidates face those same long odds. But in Alaska, these candidates — hatchlings who often defy the conventional political norms of survival — don’t only run for office. Sometimes, they survive and win.

In both Alaska’s U.S. House and Senate elections, independent candidates — Al Gross for the Senate and Alyse Galvin for the House — are challenging Republican incumbents.

A Chance to Reach the Ocean?

In 2018, independent public education advocate Alyse Galvin lost in her bid to defeat Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) — the longest serving member of the House — in Alaska’s at-large district election . Young defeated Galvin 53 percent to 47 percent, his closest margin of victory since his first win in a 1973 special election.Now in 2020, the at-large […]

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