Vulnerable Begich will learn challenger as Alaska voters head to the polls


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Voters pick candidates Tuesday in Alaska and Wyoming, with Alaska’s Republican U.S. Senate primary the most eagerly anticipated.

The winner will face Sen. Mark Begich, considered one of the nation’s most vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents. Three major Republican contenders are vying for the nomination.

Tea party favorite Joe Miller, who won the 2010 Republican Senate nomination before losing to write-in Sen. Lisa Murkowski, faces Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

National figures are prominent. Former Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are backing Miller. Former George W. Bush political guru Karl Rove is behind Sullivan. Treadwell’s backers include former astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

There’s expected to be less drama in Wyoming, where Gov. Matt Mead is expected to top two challengers. The Senate primary once seemed to offer controversy, as Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, considered a challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. Cheney did not challenge Enzi, who is seen as having an easy time winning Tuesday and ultimately winning re-election.

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