The presidential campaign of Republican Nikki Haley has announced an Alaska team. It’s led by Republican campaign consultant Art Hackney, the statewide co-chair.
Donald Trump is widely spoken of as the presumptive Republican nominee, but Hackney said no one should assume Trump is unassailable.
“If people actually think that no one should dare to challenge Trump, then I would say America is truly becoming its worst self,” he said.
The Haley campaign’s announcement includes a list of eight members of the Alaska leadership team, and two dozen Republican “endorsers.” They include state legislators Louise Stutes and Bert Stedman, former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and a host of business leaders and former legislators.
Hackney said the list would have been longer but people told him they were afraid to come out publicly against Trump, who is prone to talk of “retribution.” Trump announced last month that anyone who contributes to Haley will be “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”
Hackney said he knows he’s sticking his neck out. If Trump wins, Hackney said it’s likely future Republican candidates won’t want to hire him to work on their campaigns.
“I accept that that is probably the case,” he said. “I don’t worry about it.”
Haley’s Alaska team is focused on turning out Republican voters on Super Tuesday, March 5. While other states will be holding primary elections that day, Alaska Republicans will hold a “presidential preference poll.” The results are intended to guide Alaska’s delegates at the national GOP nominating convention.
This will be Alaska’s first presidential election using the rules voters adopted in 2020. For other offices, voters decide at the August primary which four candidates advance to the general election ballot. But for the office of president, the established political parties tell the Alaska Division of Elections who their nominees are at least 64 days before the general election. Presidential candidates can also get on the November ballot by petition.
The general election ballot will allow voters the option of ranking the candidates for each office, including president. Voters can also just vote for their favorite.
The Trump campaign hasn’t yet announced its 2024 Alaska team.