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Alaska Democrats unanimously vote to support Biden’s re-election

President Biden won all 17 of Alaska's delegates to the Democratic Party's national convention to be held in August in Chicago.
The White House
President Biden won all 17 of Alaska's delegates to the Democratic Party's national convention to be held in August in Chicago.

Party members meet in-person, online in presidential preference primary to back incumbent’s re-election

Alaska Democrats unanimously chose President Joe Biden in party elections over the weekend as their candidate for president.

Democratic party members from all around the state got together in-person and online Saturday to nominate the incumbent president for re-election.

“President Joe Biden won all 17 of Alaska’s state delegates to the national convention – meaning, he won the state of Alaska,” says Michael Wenstrup, the state Democratic Party chair.

Wenstrup concedes that’s probably no surprise to anyone, because Biden’s only challenger, Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips, dropped out of the race last month and endorsed the president. And also because the unanimous voice vote of Democrats in Saturday’s event shows Biden has strong support among Alaska Democrats.

“There was no protest votes that I’ve been made aware of,” Wenstrup said in an interview Sunday. “Everyone that participated enthusiastically supported resident Biden.”

A news release issued after Saturday’s presidential preference primary says party leaders went ahead and conducted the vote, despite the lack of a challenger, because they “remained committed to a democratic process to determine presidential preference.” But Wenstrup says the leadership decided to downsize the noncompetitive proceeding.

“Rather than to run a more expensive primary, which would cost us up to $400,000 or more,” he said, “we decided since there was only one nominee on our ballot to simply have each district caucus meet and cast their votes in their districts.”

He says party members in all 40 state districts got together to weigh-on on the nominee, including regional get-togethers in Anchorage and the Mat-Su.

“Only Juneau and Fairbanks met in-person,” he added. “The rest of the districts met on their own, via Zoom or in-person, depending on the logistics and the size of their district of region.”

Also Saturday, Democrats elected delegates to the party’s state convention, to be held next month in Juneau. The delegates will review the party’s platform and bylaws, and will in turn elect delegates to the national convention to be held in August in Chicago.

Biden and former President Donald Trump are the presumed candidates of their respective parties for the November 5th general election.

Alaska Republicans selected Trump as their nominee over rival candidate Nikki Haley during their party’s March 5th presidential preference poll.

Alaska voters also will cast ballots for local and state office, and possibly a ballot measure, during this busy election year. The partisan primary is scheduled for August 20th and the winners of those races will then seek election during the November 5th general.

Tim Ellis has been working as a KUAC reporter/producer since 2010. He has more than 30 years experience in broadcast, print and online journalism.