Campaign Reports Show Expensive Senate Races

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by Russ Slaten

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - As we get closer to November more anticipation builds for the election season. The Alaska Public Offices Commission released senate campaign reports, and said there's no shortage of money for state campaigns.

Thanks to redistricting process, there are 59 state legislative seats up for grabs this year.

The senate is currently split 10-10 between democrats and republicans. Issues like the multi-billion dollar oil tax and building the natural gas pipeline are at the forefront for many voters.

This year's senate elections are expected to be some of the most expensive the state has ever seen. The Senate Bipartisan Working Group, led by two republicans but comprised of all 10 democrats, are seeing challenges in both the August primary and November general elections.

Campaign reports show republican incumbents and challengers favored by the oil, construction and transportation industries, with democrats receiving financial support from labor unions, lawyers, and various small contributors.

Campaign consultants said significant monetary support plays a major role in a successful political race.

"People want to invest with a candidate they think is viable and has a good shot of winning, so generally speaking, when you see campaign donations they follow kind of an index of whose seen to be viable, and who the public has confidence in that they can win," said Dittman Research President Matt Larkin.

At least four democrats in the bipartisan coalition appear to face strong republican challengers in November.

Go to aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/Campaign to find the specific campaign reports for each 2012 candidate.

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