JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Buzz Kelley, a Republican candidate who has not reported raising any money, has advanced to the November general election in Alaska's U.S. Senate race.
Kelley joins Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Pat Chesbro in advancing from last week's primary. The top four vote-getters in the open primary advance to the general election in which ranked voting will be used. State elections officials released updated vote counts late Friday.
Kelley did not respond to emails or a message sent through his website from The Associated Press. But he told the Anchorage Daily News recently that his success could be due to his 12 campaign signs, one of which he has welded to the top of his vehicle. When former President Donald Trump held a rally in Anchorage in July with Republican Sarah Palin and Tshibaka, both of whom he's endorsed, Kelly spent the day driving around the block in that vehicle, the outlet reported. Palin is running for U.S. House.
While Tshibaka's slogan is “Kelly for Alaska," Buzz Kelley said it seemed “a bit of a stretch" that Tshibaka supporters mistakenly voted for him.
“There is probably the possibility that some of those people had intended to vote for Kelly Tshibaka,” he told the newspaper. “But it’s also possible people have looked at my website and say, ‘Hey, I kind of like some of that stuff. I think I’ll color in Buzz’s oval.’”
On his website, he says it is “probably safe to say I support most of the 'Trump doctrine.'”
In a candidate statement on the state elections website, the retired union mechanic says his slogan is “Hard Right Turn. It is a political statement. It is a moral statement. It is my campaign motto and it is my sole objective if elected to the United States Senate.”
Meanwhile, elections officials plan to tabulate results from the ranked choice U.S. House special election on Wednesday. The candidates in that race are Democrat Mary Peltola and Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich. The winner of the contest will be elected to serve the remainder of the late U.S. Rep. Don Young's term, which ends early next year. Young, who held the state's only House seat for 49 years, died in March.
The Associated Press