On Aug. 22, Republicans and nonpartisans throughout the state will go to the polls to decide the future of the party itself. The fundamental question should be clear to all: Which one of the three highly qualified candidates not only shares our values but can unite the party and carry through to victory in the November election? This is the basis upon which I will cast my vote.
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Frank Murkowski has had a long distinguished run in the U.S. Senate, but his imperial style has not translated well during his tenure as governor. He has alienated Republicans throughout the state, and it is not without reason that he is the second most unpopular governor in America.
Even if Murkowski were to survive the Republican primary, how can he unite Alaskans and emerge victorious in the general election? A Murkowski victory in August would translate into a Democratic victory come November.
It truly is time to pass the torch to a new generation of Republican leadership in the state.
Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is also a divisive candidate. Her pro-capital move comments have not played well in Southeast Alaska.
She has made a conscious, politically expedient decision to write off those of us who might otherwise support her primary candidacy.
Come November, though, Palin simply cannot win having divided the party and the state, one region against another.
Alaska faces fundamental issues with respect to our common development. Issues like the gas pipeline, which will affect future generations for better or for worse depending upon the decisions of our elected leaders today.
I have met John Binkley only one time, but I was immediately impressed with his experience, his vision for the future of Alaska and his style of leadership.
He has never lost his understanding of small business, the working man or those living in rural Alaska.
By uniting Republicans throughout the state, Binkley does not pit the selfish wants of one region against the economic needs of another, and he is the only one who can emerge victorious come November.
John Binkley is my choice for governor.
Allan D. Engstrom
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