November 19, 2014

Republican Dan Sullivan ’83 became the first Culver Military alumnus to win a United States Senate race when he defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Begich in Alaska. Sullivan was not officially declared the winner until last week when state election officials counted absentee and questioned ballots and determined Begich could not overcome Sullivan’s 8,100 vote election night lead.

Sullivan, a first-time candidate, ran a confident campaign and received help from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the closing days before the election. Sullivan pledged to fight federal overreach, and talked about the need for an energy renewal in the United States.

Sullivan, originally from Ohio, is married to Alaska native Julie Fate Sullivan. They have three daughters. His ties to the state date back to the 1990s. He was away from the state for nearly seven years for military service and work in Washington, D.C., that included working as an assistant secretary of state. He returned to Alaska in 2009 after being appointed attorney general by then-Gov. Sarah Palin.

He most recently served as Alaska’s natural resources commissioner, a post he left in September 2013 to make his first run for public office. Sullivan said he was humbled by the support he received. Among those supporting Sullivan was Alaska’s senior Senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, who endorsed Sullivan after he won a hotly contested three-way primary race.

Indiana’s Evan Bayh W’69 served two terms in the Senate after serving two terms as governor. He did not seek a third term 2010.

Details taken from the Nov. 12 issue of USA Today

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