If you speak with democratic candidate for Alaska governor, Les Gara, one thing quickly becomes apparent — that he’s out to win the whole damn thing. His voice is filled with optimism and his positive outlook about the direction of his campaign stems from the support he has received from Alaskans across the state who believe he will defend a woman’s right to choose, defend equal rights for all, and that he will work to improve Alaska’s schools while working to create better-paying jobs.
As candidates for political office know, when others perceive your campaign messaging is beginning to resonate with voters, that’s when the rumors and mudslinging begins.
One such circulating rumor is that Gara’s campaign has not been openly fundraising and has received little in the form of campaign contributions. It seems likely the rumors were started by political operatives associated with an opposing gubernatorial campaign in an attempt to delegitimize Gara by painting him as an ineffective voice whose vision for the state isn’t shared by Alaskans.
But Gara refuted those rumors today in a phone call, telling me that he has been “honored by the over 1,000 Alaskans who have already generously come forward to volunteer and donate” to his campaign.
When asked if his campaign had reached the quarter million dollar mark in campaign contributions, Gara confirmed that he had received “far in excess” of that.
Public fundraising reports will be filed in min-February.
In Alaska, the narrative long pushed by the far-right has been that a democratic candidate for governor stands little chance at winning, but that is a false narrative propagated by those fearful that someone like Gara, elected by the people, might actually begin working for all the people of Alaska.
Democrat Mark Begich ran a short, strong campaign in the 2018 four-way race for governor and received nearly 45% of the vote. Comparatively, Gara is running a longer campaign in a ranked choice voting system designed to encourage voters to support candidates who best reflect their values.