Bush administration official Dan Sullivan is the third person to throw his name into the Alaska Republican primary race to try to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.
But Sullivan could face an uphill struggle, as his bona fides in the Last Frontier may become an issue for the Ohio transplant.
Sullivan made his announcement Tuesday at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Fairbanks, after he was introduced by a former NATO commander, retired Gen. Joe Ralston, as "someone with deep Alaska roots," The Anchorage Daily News reports
"He's part of a great Alaska family who goes back countless generations in this state and whom I'm proud to call close friends," Ralston said.
While Sullivan, a 20-year Marine Corps officer, married into a family that has a long Alaskan history, Sullivan himself is from the Cleveland area. His wife, Julie, is the daughter of former Alaska state Rep. Bud Fate.
Sullivan first moved to Alaska in 1997. He left in 2002 to work in the Bush administration, first on the National Economic Council and National Security Council, and later as an assistant secretary of state in 2006.
The father of three returned to Alaska in 2009, when he was appointed attorney general by then-Gov. Sarah Palin. He later was appointed natural resources commissioner by Gov. Sean Parnell, a post he left last month to join this race, The Washington Post reported
Sullivan joins Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and 2010 Republican nominee and tea party favorite Joe Miller in what is expected to be a tough primary, Politico reports
Palin said in July that she was also considering a Senate run, The Atlantic Wire reported
"I'm still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that, there again, there will be some new blood, new energy, not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state," the former vice presidential candidate told Sean Hannity on his radio show.
A tea party group
announced in April that it was organizing an effort to encourage the former Alaska governor to run for Senate in 2014.
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol
has said that a Senate run could be an opportunity for Palin to "rehabilitate herself."
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