This article was published in the September 2014 edition of "The People's Paper":
U.S. Senate Run
Brief But Successful
By Vic Kohring
I withdrew as a candidate for the United States Senate on September 2nd following a successful Primary Election campaign and emerging as the Alaskan Independence Party nominee. I congratulate my opponent, Zachary Kile, for running a strong race and wish him the best.
You may ask why I dropped out of the race two weeks after winning the primary. Since it appears the election between the two major candidates Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan may be close this November, I concluded it would be best to back out so as not to draw votes from Republican Sullivan and tip the election to Democrat Begich. Such a scenario would have been a disaster.
Remember what occurred in 2008 when Begich defeated Ted Stevens by a scant one percent. The same thing could have easily happened again this year had I stayed in the race. While not a big Sullivan fan and preferring either Mead Treadwell or Joe Miller in the primary, he’s far preferable to Begich and much closer to me philosophically.
Stevens razor-thin defeat at the hands of Begich in ’08 gave us Obamacare, a repressive health care law modeled after socialized medicine in other countries. Worse, it’s being enforced by an army of IRS agents and funded with big tax increases. Obamacare must be abolished and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent packing for Nevada. To accomplish this, we must elect Sullivan and hope the Republicans seize the majority in the Senate.
My withdrawal was not part of a secret “plan” alleged by the Begich camp. They issued a silly press release accusing me of collaborating with Sullivan and orchestrating a “choreographed” campaign designed to boost his chances in November. Supposedly the plan was for me to run on the Alaskan Independence ticket instead of the Republican, win the primary and then quickly withdraw to block a replacement candidate so no one would run an active campaign against Sullivan. Pure nonsense.
The fact is I don't know Sullivan and have never met the man. I've had zero contact with him or his staff. My only motive is to elect a new senator with conservative credentials who will help guide our state and country away from the failed leftist policies of Harry Reid and Barack Obama that have hurt our country.
Begich's people are using my withdrawal as a wedge between voters and Sullivan, behaving as political opportunists trying to gain political advantage at Sullivan's expense. It's disingenuous and a sign of desperation that their candidate may be in trouble.
The Begich brouhaha doesn't change my attitude toward Mark though, from a personal standpoint. Even though we hold different political philosophies, I still count him as a friend. Mark's a real gentlemen and I enjoyed our close working relationship while I was in the legislature and he as mayor of Anchorage as we fought for road improvements in the Anchorage/Mat-Su areas.
I’m grateful for your support and to those who voted for me on August 19th. It was very humbling, especially considering my awful legal saga of recent years. While not a “major” candidate with millions to spend, I still had a strong presence during the campaign and was able to make my views known on a variety of issues important to me including the national debt, stagnated economy and Alaska resource development.
Please join me in voting for Dan Sullivan. Alaskans should unite behind his candidacy regardless of party affiliation for the better interests of our state and country.