Alaska Republican Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom announces run for Congress

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola is just one of five Democrats in a district also won by Trump

By: - November 14, 2023 12:22 pm
Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom is seen during the governor's annual holiday open house on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2022, at the Governor's Mansion in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom is seen during the governor’s annual holiday open house on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2022, at the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Republican Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom will run for Congress, seeking the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola. 

Dahlstrom announced her campaign in a prepared written statement and did not immediately answer phone calls seeking additional comment.

If elected, Dahlstrom would be replaced as lieutenant governor by someone selected by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The state’s current No. 3 official is adjutant general Torrence Saxe, head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

In her written statement, Dahlstrom indicated that she wants to maintain the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

“Alaska needs a proven tough fighter to stop the assault on Alaska from Joe Biden and Washington D.C. liberals,” Dahlstrom said in her statement. “Raising my four kids and working my way up in the private sector before giving back to serve Alaskans, I have seen how D.C. politicians betray Alaskans every day. In Congress, I will stop Biden and the extreme liberals ruining our future, bankrupting our families, killing our jobs, harming our military and veterans, and threatening our security.”

Republican Nick Begich is also in the race; he began a campaign in July. Peltola defeated Begich in a special election to replace Rep. Don Young, and in the 2022 general election.

By text, Begich said that despite Dahlstrom’s entry into the race, “our team is 100% focused on continuing to build our statewide effort to defeat Mary Peltola and restore commonsense, fiscally responsible representation on behalf of Alaska.”

Nonpartisan candidate Lady Donna Dutchess of Anchorage and No Labels Party candidate Richard Grayson of Apache Junction, Arizona, have also registered with the Alaska Division of Elections as candidates for the 2024 U.S. House race.

Dahlstrom, 66, is ending her first year as Alaska’s lieutenant governor, having replaced former Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer as Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s running mate.

As lieutenant governor, Dahlstrom oversees the state’s elections. In her 2022 campaign for office, she said she was concerned about the honesty and integrity of the process. Her campaign announcement means she will be in charge of ensuring that honesty while also serving as a candidate for office.

She was elected to the state House for Eagle River in 2018 but resigned before taking office in order to serve as director of the Alaska Department of Corrections during Dunleavy’s first term.

Dahlstrom previously served in the House, having been elected in 2002 and re-elected until 2010, when she took a job as a military affairs adviser to then-Gov. Sean Parnell. She left that job after a few weeks due to questions about whether she was violating a provision in the Alaska Constitution that prohibits lawmakers from taking a job created while they were in office.

Born in Baltimore, she graduated from high school in Utah and holds degrees from Wayland Baptist University and the University of LaVerne. She moved to Anchorage in 1980 and has lived in Eagle River since 1989. She has four children.

Under Alaska law, all candidates for U.S. House will run on a single ballot in the August primary election. The top four finishers will advance to the general election in November, where a final victor will be chosen via ranked choice voting.

Alaska’s statewide U.S. House district is one of just five in the country to have voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020 and a Democrat for House in 2022. 

That circumstance has made the district a top priority for national Republicans, and the National Republican Congressional Committee has already begun running ads against Peltola. Neither the NRCC or the Alaska Republican Party have named a preferred Republican candidate.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

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].