Coalition of labor and Alaska Native leaders throws its weight behind Peltola

a woman talks into a microphone at a podium on stage
U.S. Congresswoman Mary Peltola speaking to the Alaska Federation of Natives in 2023. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

A new organization called Alaska Jobs Coalition has launched a $500,000 ad campaign to support Alaska Congresswoman Mary Peltola.

The online and TV spots laud Peltola’s support for Willow, the Conoco Phillips project to develop oilfields in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska.

The Alaska Jobs Coalition formed earlier this year as a non-profit and announced that its initial focus will be to highlight Peltola’s bipartisan work on economic issues. Anchorage attorney Matt Singer is one of the founders. He said the group has support from Alaska Native corporations and labor unions, as well as individuals from the political right and left.

“Our focus is on encouraging candidates and leaders like representative Peltola who care about our state and creating jobs,” he said.

Leaders of the Alaska Jobs Coalition include Andrew Guy, chief executive of Calista, the Alaska Native regional corporation for the Bethel area; Joelle Hall, Alaska AFO-CIO president; and Alaska policy leaders Heidi Drygas and Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gidaag Blake.

The organization is an independent expenditure group, meaning it can take out ads that promote a candidate but has to act independently of the candidate’s campaign. It formed as a type of group not solely devoted to politics. As a result, it does not have to disclose its donors. 

Independent expenditure groups are on track to spend millions on the race for Alaska’s only U.S. House seat because the outcome could help determine whether Republicans will continue to hold the majority. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee affiliated with House Speaker Mike Johnson, announced it’s buying $5 million in ads to oppose Peltola and support Republican candidate Nancy Dahlstrom.

Two national forecasting groups, The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, say the race “leans Democratic,” meaning Peltola has an edge over Dahlstrom and Republican Nick Begich.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her Read more about Lizhere.

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