Tea Party Favorite Campaigns for 'Establishment' Nominee to Unseat Begich

In another of his home stretch campaign ads, "I’m on Alaska’s Side," Sullivan lists all of the conservative hot-button issues like “EPA overreach, gun rights, Obamacare, amnesty and spending,” and says again, “Mark Begich is with Obama, and I’m with you.”

Sullivan also pointed out in the ad, “I left my home in Alaska to fight terrorism after 9/11.”

True enough. But whether Sullivan’s “home in Alaska” was his primary residence has been a constant campaign issue raised by Begich, who was born and raised in the nation’s 49th state.

Sullivan was born and raised in Ohio, and although his wife was born in Alaska Sullivan listed his primary residence as a $1.3 million home in Maryland. The Begich campaign has charged that might mean he is not even eligible to run for office in Alaska.

The idea that Sullivan is an Outsider (and in Alaska that is spelled with an upper case “O”), and Begich is not, is a hook on which the first-term senator has consistently hung his campaign.

The Democrat not so subtly pointed to his family’s heritage in the opening lines of the campaign ad “Works for Alaska.”

Begich conducted an extensive get-out-the-vote campaign in rural Alaska, opening triple the number of fields offices as the Sullivan campaign with 90 field workers in 16 offices.

Sullivan had five offices open in the rural area referred to as “The Bush” in Alaska, with 14 paid staff members.

Begich spoke to the Alaska Federation of Natives Conference Oct. 24 in Anchorage.

Begich pointed out in his speech, which was broadcast statewide, that he had been a regular for years at AFN conferences.

“And I know the quickest way to get a tribal elder to swear is to yell ‘Bingo!’” he said.

Begich also reminded convention delegates that he had pushed federal officials to improve healthcare services for military veterans in rural Alaska.

“This is now a national model for the rest of the country,” he said. “I stand for you when you are not present. We will never be done fighting for Alaskan Native rights.”

Real Clear Politics had the Alaska Senate election as “too close to call,” with just over a week to go before Election Day. But in many states, including Alaska, early voting had already begun.

In fact, thousands of delegates to the Alaska Federation of Natives Conference could walk right across the street to cast their ballots.

(For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)