Q&As with Alaska’s 2022 U.S. Senate candidates

The results of our primary-election candidate survey

By: - August 1, 2022 4:44 pm
The U.S. Capitol building.

The U.S. Capitol building. (Photo by Matt H. Wade via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)

Nineteen candidates are running for U.S. Senate in Alaska’s Aug. 16 primary election. On this year’s ballot, primary voters will be asked to pick incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski or one of 18 challengers seeking to replace her.

The results will be counted through Aug. 31, and the four candidates who have the most votes will advance to this year’s Nov. 8 general election. In that election, voters will rank their preferences, and the winner will be sworn into office for a six-year term.

Ahead of the primary, the Alaska Beacon collected questions from members of the public online and in person, asking voters what they wanted to know about this year’s candidates. We read those questions, picked our favorites, and added a few of our own. The result was a questionnaire with 15 questions — 10 open-ended and five multiple-choice — which we sent to the candidates’ listed email addresses on July 13.

We followed up with phone calls and emails on the week of July 25 and received written responses from 12 of the 19 candidates. You can see links to their responses below. The answers have not been edited.

This sample ballot shows the front side of Alaska’s Aug. 16 primary election ballot for voters in House District 1, southern Southeast Alaska. Voters will be asked to pick one candidate in each of the primary elections. On the other side of the ballot is the state’s first ranked-choice election, a special election for U.S. House. (Alaska Division of Elections image)


Edgar Blatchford (Democratic) — Did not respond

Patricia Chesbro (D) — Responded in full

Dave Darden (Undeclared) — Responded

Dustin Darden (Alaskan Independence) — Responded in full

Shoshana Gungurstein (Nonpartisan) — Responded in full

Sidney “Sid” Hill (N) — Did not respond

Jeremy Keller (N) — Responded

Buzz Kelley (Republican) — Did not respond

Huhnkie Lee (U) — Responded in full

Samuel “Al” Merrill (R) — Did not respond

Lisa Murkowski (R) — Responded

Pat Nolin (R) — Responded

John Schiess (R) — Responded in full

Kendall Shorkey (R) — Responded in full

Karl Speights (R) — Responded in full

Joe Stephens (AIP) — Did not respond

Ivan Taylor (D) — Did not respond

Sean Thorne (Libertarian) — Responded in full

Kelly Tshibaka (R) — Did not respond


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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected].