Freshman senator launches bid for lieutenant governor, scraps campaign a day later

Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, listens to a State Affairs Committee hearing in the Alaska Capitol.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - On Wednesday, Sen. David Wilson made a surprise move, by putting his name in the running for the lieutenant governor's race.

One day later, the freshman Republican from Wasilla made an even more surprising announcement in an amendment to his Alaska Public Offices Commission letter of intent: "not running for office," the updated form says.

Reached by phone, Wilson told KTUU he is not running for lieutenant governor or any other position "this year, next year, or the year after." However, he said he will consider options, when his first term nears its conclusion.

"I was trying to debate and think and pray about it, and it just wasn't meant to be filed. It was an accident," he said.

The move was somewhat reminiscent of former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan's campaign for U.S. Senate last year: Sullivan jumped into the race against incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski on the filing deadline, but unceremoniously dropped out just two weeks later.

Surely, Wilson's campaign now holds the title for the briefest on record.

During his first year in office, Wilson shied away from cameras and mostly avoided the spotlight.

However, he drew headlines for allegedly slapping Alaska Dispatch News political reporter Nat Herz in the face in May, an incident that led to a police report filed with the Juneau Police Department and an investigation launched by the state Office of Special Prosecutions.

State lawmakers cannot be charged with a misdemeanor crime, while a legislative session remains active. And even though session is finally on hold, after 180 days of work in the Capitol this year, it still remains unclear if Wilson will face a criminal charge.

"I can't comment upon that," Wilson said of the case, when asked for an update.



 
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